Cape Town - Proteas batsman, Temba Bavuma, hopes his maiden Test century in the current Test against England at Newlands will inspire many upcoming young cricketers dreaming to represent South Africa.
The 25-year-old says he understands the bigger picture that his innings will paint for the next generation of black African cricketers and hopes it will pave the way for others hoping to follow in his footsteps.
“When I made my debut for South Africa I became more aware and realised the significance of it all,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “It wasn’t just about me making my debut, but being a role model and inspiration for other black African kids to aspire to. Achieving this milestone will strengthen that example.
“I looked today at the kids who were there for the KFC mini
cricket festival at lunch,” he added. “Half of those kids come from Langa and
half of them know my name. Whenever I go back to Langa I know I’m going to have
those kids running around me. There is a greater significance, a lot of
pressure, but it is international cricket."
The rousing reception from the Newlands crowd added the extra sheen to an already flawless performance, which Bavuma described as ‘satisfying’ considering the amount of work he has put in behind the scenes.
“I am born and bred in Cape Town, this is where I learnt my cricket, my passion grew here,” he said. “Being able to achieve this milestone at my favourite ground in the world makes it a bit more special.
“There is a lot of satisfaction, just getting that first hundred,” he explained. “I’ve been yearning for it, fighting for it, so getting that one under the belt makes me look forward to the future ones if they do come.”
Despite the challenges in India and the struggles in the first Test in Durban, Bavuma says he didn’t feel any added pressure to justify his selection in the team. The support from Russell Domingo and the rest of the management, along with thorough preparation, combined to give him the ideal platform to succeed.
“With the team culture and environment that we have, as a batter you don’t feel pressure because you know that the guys are backing you 100%,” he said. “Yes you haven’t done well in a game but I never felt any kind of pressure. The pressure would have come from the media reading into the team selection. Personally I didn’t feel any pressure, I knew that the coach and team mates backed me, it was all up to me to try and make things happen when the opportunity came.”