- Temba Bavuma, the Proteas’ T20 skipper, is comfortable for the team to continue observing the Black Lives Matter movement on an individual basis.
- The policy was in place for the recently concluded Test series against the West Indies and will remains so for the five-match white-ball battle.
- Bavuma says the T20 squad is also on the same page with regards to the new winning culture established by the Test side.
Temba Bavuma is comfortable with the policy of each member of the Proteas deciding on an individual basis how they observe the Black Lives Matter movement for the T20 series against the West Indies.
The issue has been in the spotlight throughout South Africa’s trip to the Caribbean ever since the hosts announced that they would continue to take the knee in solidarity with the continued fight for social justice and racial equality.
Bavuma, the Proteas’ limited overs captain, hadn’t been part of the conversation on a public forum during the tour yet as the unlucky stroke-maker first had to recover from a hip injury and then a dislocated finger in the Test series.
“The decision that was made stands across the team in all formats,” he said on Friday, ahead of the opening fixture of a five-match series in Grenada on Saturday.
“I was part of the discussion and the decision. It wouldn’t make sense for the Test team to do one thing and then the white-ball team does something else.
“So yes, I accept the decision for giving the players the freedom to express whatever it is they want to express.”
Proteas T20 squad
Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams
And if there are cynics who might allege that Bavuma is toeing the party line to merely keep unity intact, he reiterated that he believes it’s the right course of action.
“At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision,” he said.
“We don’t want to get in the way of that. I believe it’s the best decision.”
Talking of language and symbols, Bavuma gave the assurance that he and his team-mates will strive to continue driving a new winning culture that was started with a heartening 2-0 Test series whitewash of the Windies.
For his part, red-ball captain, Dean Elgar, said that he hoped he could “create an environment not just for Test cricket”, rather one that would “spread to the other formats” too.
“The culture or ‘language’ for the T20 team is definitely the same,” said Bavuma.
“Dean and I have been in various discussions throughout about this. We spoke about how we want to take the team forward. That actually started back in April against Pakistan already.
“It definitely bore fruit in the Test series already. And a lot of Test series members are part of the T20 setup anyway, so it’s only natural that everything will continue the way it’s been.”
Saturday’s opener starts at 20:00 SA time.
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