Graeme Smith on Bavuma captaincy: 'We've always known his leadership qualities'

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Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma
  • Temba Bavuma's appointment as Proteas ODI and T20 captain was one that came after much deliberation. 
  • According to director of cricket Graeme Smith, Bavuma's leadership credentials have been on the radar for some time.
  • Smith says the feedback from within the squad was a factor in the decision. 

Temba Bavuma being handed the full-time ODI and T20 captaincy on Thursday may have come as a shock to a few, but he has long been on the radar of the Proteas brains trust. 

That is the clear message from director of cricket Graeme Smith. 

Bavuma replaces Quinton de Kock as South Africa's limited overs skipper, with the explosive wicketkeeper/batsman having struggled to perform consistently with the pressures that have accompanied national leadership. 

Now, the 30-year-old Bavuma has been given the reins for a two-year period that includes three World Cups, two of which are T20s. 

And when the Proteas travel to India in 2023 looking to finally land a maiden 50-over World Cup, they will do so with Bavuma as their leader. 

Always soft-spoken, thoughtful and humble, Bavuma on Thursday said he acknowledged the significance of being his country's first black African captain

He wants his legacy, though, to be built on how he leads this team and he clearly has the backing of his peers and bosses.

Smith, meanwhile, helped explain the thought process behind the appointment. 

"There has been a lot of deliberation and a lot of conversations that have been had behind the scenes trying to learn about where the team is currently and where the leadership of the team is," Smith explained. 

"We've always known about Temba's leadership qualities.

"We really wanted to follow him and provide him the space and support and to get behind him. We wanted to get him playing well again and I think he's shown that consistency over time.

"We've noticed his leadership credentials behind the scenes and the way he's been operating within the squad and the experience that he brings.

"The feedback that we've received from within the squad, from management through to coaches, has been really positive around Temba."

The other announcement on Thursday was that Dean Elgar has been appointed as the new Test captain. 

In all formats, the Proteas have struggled for consistency and this is the dawn of a new era in their efforts to once again become a powerhouse in international cricket.  

"It's not going to be an easy role and they've got a number of challenges ahead of them, but we believe that they've got the cricket brain, the right character and the right leadership credentials to shift South African cricket into a positive space," Smith said.

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