Temba Bavuma doesn’t want to be pigeonholed and that’s one of the main reasons why he’s moving back to Cape Town.
The Cape Cobras on Tuesday confirmed the 26-year-old Proteas batter had joined the franchise after ending a nine-year association with the Highveld Lions.
A bonus for the Capetonians is the fact they won’t have to pay Bavuma a cent as he’s nationally contracted with Cricket South Africa (CSA).
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The diminutive cricketer is currently only considered a Test player, a perception he clearly wants to change as some critics still believe he is too short to have the power to score quick runs consistently.
Yet Bavuma scored a magnificent 113 on his One-day International debut against Ireland last year.
It’s an example that’s used to argue that he might be a far better limited overs players than people think.
“I believe that Temba, when not on international duty, can enhance the Cape Cobras’ chances significantly of winning the domestic four-day and one-day titles,” said Nabeal Dien, the Cobras’ chief executive.
“His versatility off back and front foot and his good running between the wickets could make him a significant factor in the domestic 50-over campaign.”
With former Proteas keeper Dane Vilas off to the Dolphins and opener Omphile Ramela expected to move to the Lions, Bavuma could be a shoo-in in the 50-over format.
But there’s another ulterior motive for getting his signature.
The Cobras are not known for producing many black African players and desperately need a beacon to encourage youngsters to rather take up cricket.
Bavuma is perfect in that regard.
He’s established a foundation focusing on his old neighbourhood, Langa, and had millions watching when he scored his only Test hundred against England at Newlands.
“His presence will also be an inspirational factor in township cricket and in encouraging and motivating young players to choose cricket as their premier sporting code instead of soccer,” said Cobras president Beresford Williams.