Temba Bavuma rubbishes selection claims based on color: 'Yes, I am black, that's my skin'
Also see – BBL Most Wickets
Temba Bavuma revealed after South Africa's win over England in the first ODI that being constantly viewed with respect to the color of his skin had been putting him under a lot of mental stress. Bavuma was dropped from South Africa's Test side due to poor form but he claimed that it was actually the talks about the color of his skin that made him uncomfortable.
"It has been hard. It's not so much the dropping part, all players get dropped, everyone goes through slumps of not scoring well. The awkwardness from my side is when you are thrown into talks of transformation," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Bavuma as saying.
Bavuma insisted that he was in the South African team only on merit and not because he was black. He backed up his claims with a good knock of 98 against England in the first ODI and took pride in his performance for the Proteas.
"Yes, I am black, that's my skin. But I play cricket because I love it. I'd like to think the reason I am in the team is because of performances I have put forward in my franchise side, and also for the national team, whenever I have been able to. The discomfort was there, having to navigate me around all those types of talks," he stated.
According to Cricket South Africa's rules, the national team is required to field six players of color in their lineup, including two black Africans. Thus, during the Test series between England and South Africa, there were talks about whether Bavuma was in the team due to this rule. This was something that the batsman was strictly against and wanted to stop by performing well with the bat.
"The one thing that irks me is when you are seen through the eyes of transformation. When you do well, transformation is not spoken about but when you do badly, transformation is thrown at the top of the agenda," Bavuma asserted.
"I have a serious problem with that. We've got to be able to take the good with the bad. If transformation is bad when black African players are not doing well, then when we are doing well, let's also recognize transformation for what it's done," he added.Published 05 Feb 2020, 13:58 IST