Take it easy, Rabada – Ngam

Former Proteas fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam says Kagiso Rabada should be protected. Picture: Deaan Vivier
Former Proteas fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam says Kagiso Rabada should be protected. Picture: Deaan Vivier

Kagiso Rabada must be wrapped in cotton wool and protected from bowling too much.

This is the warning from Mfuneko Ngam, better known to his fans as The Black Mamba.

The former Protea fast bowler was full of praise for South Africa’s newest cricket hero, but warned Rabada should be nurtured.

Rabada broke all sorts of records when he took 13/144 against England at Centurion during the fourth test.

Just like Rabada, Ngam hit the cricket scene like a meteor in 2000 when he bowled at around 150km/h. Ngam took 11 wickets (at an average of 17.18, with a best-innings analysis of 6/62) in his first three tests before a series of injuries wrecked his career.

“I bowled way too much at a young age and my body could just not handle it,” said Ngam (37).

“I exercised until I could not move any more ... and then I would play a match.”

But he did not see the same problems facing Rabada.

“These days the workload of players, particularly fast bowlers, is managed scientifically. And Kagiso is more mature, stronger and fitter than I was then,” he said.

“But he must know when to apply the brakes. He is someone who can become a superstar in all three formats [test, one-day and T20 cricket].”

These days, Ngam heads Cricket SA’s academy at the University of Fort Hare.

While Rabada’s feat at Centurion brought bittersweet memories, Ngam said he was very happy for the player.

“He and Temba [Bavuma] are­
the success stories of CSA’s transformation programme.

“They pave the way for other young black players to rise through the ranks and, believe me, soon we will have many more Rabadas and Bavumas coming through.”

Latest issue

July 2020

Latest issue
All the news from City Press.
Read now
Voting Booth
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would immediately re-enforce a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol, to reduce the volume of trauma patients, so hospitals have more beds for Covid-19 coronavirus patients
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ban should have stayed
26% - 22 votes
It took too long
6% - 5 votes
Booze is not the enemy
69% - 59 votes
Vote