- Proteas white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma admitted to being felt “let down” after controversially going unsold at this week’s SA20 player auction.
- But while the emotions are raw, the right-hander has “cautioned” himself against delving too deep and is instead focused on the Proteas’ trip to India.
- He also stated that he’s tried to avoid what’s being said of the issue from the outside.
Proteas limited overs skipper Temba Bavuma made no secret of his dismay at going unsold at this week’s SA20 tournament auction.
The diminutive right-hander’s discarding unleashed a tsunami of debate on what is a polarising issue, especially given his status as a key player in the national team’s white-ball squads.
That is the key to the argument questioning his exclusion, while others counter that by stating franchise-based T20 tournaments are “brutal” and stats-driven, with Bavuma’s overall T20 strike rate of 125 not being considered dynamic enough for the shortest form of the game.
Either way, his emotions are raw.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any feelings of disappointment,” Bavuma said on Thursday, on the eve of the Proteas’ departure for a white-ball tour to India.
“Obviously one expected to play a role in the tournament. But it’s not just me, it’s Andile (Phehlukwayo) too, a man who’s played a lot of white ball cricket for South Africa.
“From my side, there are feelings of disappointment.”
However, with his side needing his leadership on a trip that’s going to be vital both from a 50-over World Cup and T20 World Cup perspective, Bavuma is trying to exercise restraint.
“I almost feel let down in a way. I don’t think it comes down to any entitlement on my side,” he said.
“I also have to caution myself from delving too deep into it. It’s probably not the right time. As much as I want to perhaps speak about the issue too, it’s not the right time. Our focus is India and the T20 World Cup.”
Asked whether he was becoming burdened by every selection setback involving him boiling down to a debate about race instead of his credentials as a player, the 32-year-old again kept his cool.
“Again, I’m cautioning myself to delve too deep into the matter. Whenever the right time comes, I’ll look more into it. I feel disappointed and let down.”
Assisting him in not getting drawn into the proverbial noise is not following media reports too closely.
“To be honest, I haven’t been following the media and reaction as I generally do anyway. It’s comforting to know there’s a section of the cricketing community who share my sentiments,” said Bavuma.
“You want to be selected on whatever merit and credentials. I know what I’m feeling but I don’t know what’s happening outside.”
The Proteas depart for the sub-continent on Friday.