Cape Town - The Cape Cobras’ chances of adding trophies to their cabinet have received a substantial boost with the news that the 26-year-old Proteas middle-order batsman, Temba Bavuma, will be returning to his Cape Town roots in the 2017/18 season.
Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of Western Cape Cricket, confirmed that Bavuma has parted ways with the Highveld Lions after a period of close to nine years and is heading back to the place of his birth.
Bavuma made his first-class debut for Gauteng in 2008 at age 18.
Bavuma was sensational during the 2014/15-season in which the Highveld Lions won the Sunfoil Series, scoring 555 runs at an average of 69.35. A seminal moment in his career came just a few months prior to that season. He shared in a match-winning 343-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Rilee Rossouw against Australia ‘A’ in August 2014. South Africa ‘A’ won handsomely by eight wickets, with Bavuma scoring 162.
The diminutive batsman was born and bred in Langa and educated at SACS, and brought tears of joy and celebration across the Cape Peninsula when he slammed his maiden Test century against England at Newlands in the 2015/16 season in the traditional New Year’s Test.
His compact style, his excellent balance, his ability to keep his head still and play at the latest moment has drawn rave reviews from technical experts such as Kepler Wessels, a former South African batsman, and Shaun Pollock, a former SA Test captain.
Small in stature, but a giant in every other way, Bavuma plays attractively square of the crease. He loves to treat fast bowlers’ attempted bouncers with disdain, while his driving through the covers is pure class.
In his latest Test series, against New Zealand, he contributed scores of 64 and 87. His partnership of 160 with Quinton de Kock in Wellington, aided by the splendid 6-40 by Keshav Maharaj, set up a comprehensive eight-wicket win for South Africa that ultimately secured the series win.
“I believe that Temba, when not on international duty, can enhance the Cape Cobras’ chances significantly of winning the Sunfoil Series title and even the One Day Cup campaign. He will strengthen the top order and aid their quest to score totals in excess of 450 in the first innings,” Dien remarked.
“And his versatility off back and front foot, his good running between the wickets and his excellent partnerships with players like Stiaan van Zyl, Jason Smith and Richard Levi could make him a significant factor in the domestic 50-over campaign as well,” said Dien.
Beresford Williams, chairperson of Western Cape Cricket, commented: “He will be a drawcard for the Cobras, as he is an attacking player and 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.”
In 20 Tests, Bavuma has scored 849 runs at an average of 31.44, while he has scored 12 tons in 106 first class games.
“South Africa will have a busy test schedule in 2017/18 with Test series against Australia and India on the cards. Yet, Temba might still ply his trade in different formats for the Cobras as he is not yet an established player in One Day Internationals. His experience and enthusiasm will be key factors in lifting the Cobras to new heights in all formats,” said Ashwell Prince, coach of the Cape Cobras.