‘Feelings of almost being let down’ – Temba Bavuma on not being picked for SA20
“I definitely expected to play a role in the tournament. From my side, there are definitely feelings of disappointment and also feelings of almost being let down in a way. I don’t think it comes from any point of entitlement on my part. “
Bavuma formally took charge of South Africa’s limited-overs side in March last year and has so far led the country in 13 ODIs and 17 T20Is. However, he has been out of international action since South Africa’s T20I tour of India in June due to an injured elbow.
In a rare case of a national white-ball captain not being selected in his country’s T20 league, Bavuma indicated that he had more to say on the matter but would currently rather focus on the task ahead: the India tour followed of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
“I caution myself not to delve too deeply into this whole matter,” Bavuma said. “As much as I’d like to talk more about it, it’s probably not the right time. Our focus right now is on India and the World Cup. We’ll do what we have to do there.”
“The guys on the team, our friendship, our relationship goes way beyond just being teammates. We’re friends off the field. It’s been enough for the guys to just be there in terms of their presence for me.”
Temba Bavuma says his national team mates have his back
“Temba Bavuma is our leader and I back him 100%,” Boucher said. “Yeah, there’s a lot of chatter on social media about all that stuff, about this and that; I don’t really care. He’s our leader and we support him in this team beyond belief.
“The guys were there last night, we had a few drinks and I could just see the energy around him because I understand the situation he’s going through. The bottom line is we’re on a journey and we’ve been on a journey for the past two years.”
“One thing I can say is that leagues, they come and go, and I fully understand and respect this new league that has come up. I think it is necessary. But let’s separate the national team from league,” he said.
“What happens in leagues and auctions, you can’t control that; unfortunately it is what it is. From a Proteas perspective we’re backing him 100% and going into a massive tournament as a [T20] WC, he will be a big part of our team.”
While Bavuma agreed with Boucher’s statement that the group was behind him, he also insisted that he was not expecting any sympathy, nor does he need to prove anything to anyone.
“The guys on the team, our friendship, our relationship goes way beyond being teammates,” he said. “We’re friends off the field. It’s been enough that the guys are just there in terms of their presence for me. I don’t expect sympathy or anything like that.
“The biggest thing for me is to serve the team as well as I can. I still have the responsibility to be the captain of the team. I will strive to do the best I can, which I think I have done. “
Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo