How Lara inspired Bavuma in his landmark Test match

How Lara inspired Bavuma in his landmark Test match

Of all the messages Temba Bavuma received as he prepared to make his Test captaincy debut against the West Indies at Centurion, Brian Lara’s was one of the most significant.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Big respect, big respect. All respect for the position you have,’ and he wished me well,” Bavuma said. “I had to pinch myself there.”

When Lara made her Test debut in December 1990, Bavuma was just seven months old. I would have been too young to have seen South Africa’s first post-re-readmission test – against the West Indies in 1992, when half a century later Lara and current Cricket West Indies director of cricket Jimmy Adams set a goal for South Africa that finally they did not succeed. But as he got older, Bavuma would have heard a lot about the West Indies and Lara.
In Bavuma’s early years, the South African team had no black African players. He was eight years old when Makhaya Ntini was capped in 1998, and by the time Bavuma became a Test player in 2014, against none other than the West Indies, only four other black African players had represented South Africa in Test cricket, and none of they was a batter. . Bavuma became the first. What he represents to millions of young South Africans is what Lara represented to him: the power of black excellence.
Kagiso Rabada was born five years after Bavuma, in 1995, when the West Indies last won a Test series against a top-eight team away from home. He is also inspired by them.

“I have great admiration for the West Indian cricket culture. And as a bowler, how can you ignore that famous bowling attack and the likes of Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Gordon Greenidge? The list goes on and on,” he said. Rabada. saying. “They dominated world cricket at one point, and everyone knows it. They’re a phenomenal team with a phenomenal culture. I’m friends with a lot of them. I looked up to the players who came before, they would have played a role in my cricket upbringing. , and the current players as well”.

Just as South Africans of subcontinental heritage grew up supporting India and Pakistan, black South Africans had cultural and political reasons for supporting the West Indies; and the families of Bavuma and Rabada were among those who did. The greats of the West Indies also continue to inspire their own. Kemar Roach admitted that his main motivation for continuing to play Test Cricket, 14 years after making his debut in 2009, was because he wants to “be among the greats”.

“When I joined the team, he was the team manager. I spent a lot of time in his room, communicating and learning the tricks of the trade. He checks in on me from time to time. Passing him on is a great honor,” Roach said, quickly catching himself. “I’m sorry, Mr. Garner.”

At 34, and with 76 caps to his name, Roach has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

“My motivation comes from wanting to perform, wanting to raise my numbers and wanting to be among the greats,” he said. “We have a fantastic locker room; the camaraderie, the fun we have, that’s the motivation for me to try to keep going as long as I can.”

When asked if he could set a deadline, Roach reference is made to NBA legend LeBron James promising his fans multiple titles. “Let’s see how long I can last. Hopefully, two, three, four, five, six, seven years…”