“I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any feelings of disappointment” - Temba Bavuma reacts to going unsold at SA20 auction

India v South Africa - 4th T20
South Africa’s white ball skipper Temba Bavuma. Pic: Getty Images

South Africa’s white-ball captain Temba Bavuma has admitted his disappointment at going unsold at the player auction for SA20, the country's upcoming franchise-based T20 league. The 32-year-old stated that he “expected to play a role in the tournament”.

There has been a huge debate among the South African cricket community and fans over Bavuma going unsold at the auction, considering he leads the national team in white-ball formats. The right-handed batter has played 25 T20Is for South Africa, scoring 562 runs, including a solitary half-century, at a strike rate of 120.60.

Speaking to the media on the eve of South Africa’s departure for their white-ball tour of India, Bavuma opened up about the SA20 snub. He commented:

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any feelings of disappointment. Obviously one expected to play a role in the tournament. But it's not just me, it's Andile (Phehlukwayo) too, a man who's played a lot of white ball cricket for South Africa. From my side, there are feelings of disappointment.”

The cricketer, however, added that it is not right to speak about personal disappointment since the focus is on the tour of India and the subsequent T20 World Cup. He stated:

"I almost feel let down in a way. I don't think it comes down to any entitlement on my side. I also have to caution myself from delving too deep into it. It's probably not the right time. As much as I want to perhaps speak about the issue too, it's not the right time. Our focus is India and the T20 World Cup.”
Proteas white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma admitted to being felt "let down" after controversially going unsold at this week's SA20 player auction | @sportmal.…

Earlier, reacting to Bavuma going unsold at the auction, SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith clarified that they have no say over the selection decisions of the league’s franchises.

“Don't know what's happening outside” - Temba Bavuma on his credentials being questioned

During the media interaction, Bavuma was asked if he had been burdened by the constant debate over his place in the team based on his race and credentials. He responded:

"Again, I'm cautioning myself to delve too deep into the matter. Whenever the right time comes, I'll look more into it. I feel disappointed and let down.”

Stating that he avoids keeping tabs on what is being written and spoken about him in the press, Bavuma concluded:

"To be honest, I haven't been following the media and reaction as I generally do anyway. It's comforting to know there's a section of the cricketing community who share my sentiments. You want to be selected on whatever merit and credentials. I know what I'm feeling but I don't know what's happening outside.”
Auctions and the bidding dynamics within them can be cruel. Eoin Morgan has no bidder but neither does South Africa's T20 captain, Temba Bavuma!

South Africa will play three T20Is and as many ODIs in India from September 28 to October 11.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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