Temba Bavuma made history as South Africa’s first black African cricket captain following his appointment as skipper of the limited overs teams (One-Day International and Twenty20) by Cricket South Africa (CSA).
Bavuma made a name for himself in the limited overs game during the 2019/20 season following a spell away from the Test side due to injury and a poor run of form. He has, however, been a part of the Test team since the 2014/2015 season.
The 30-year-old locally captains the Lions franchise team, whom he led to victory in the T20 Challenge trophy on Sunday.
Dean Elgar, meanwhile, was named captain of South Africa’s Test squad with Bavuma appointed vice-captain “to ensure continuity and stability in the squad”, according to CSA.
“Bavuma will lead the Proteas in the 2021 and 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cups as well as the ICC Men’s World Cup in 2023. Elgar will take the reins into the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship,” CSA said in a statement on Thursday.
Bavuma and Elgar replace Quinton de Kock, who was full-time ODI captain and interim captain of the Test team. De Kock was granted a “mental health break” after a gruelling Test series in Pakistan last month.
Bavuma described his appointment as one of the “greatest honours” in his life so far while pledging to lead the team into the new culture it had developed.
“The responsibility of captaining one’s country is not one I take lightly, and I am looking forward to this new challenge and journey with Dean in the Test cricket format, as well as leading the team to not just one, but three ICC World Cups in the very near future.”
Elgar reiterated Bavuma’s comments saying captaining one’s country was the biggest honour a player could receive.
“To captain my country’s Test team, which I believe to be the pinnacle of the game, is the biggest highlight of my career and I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent my country in such an important way.”
CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith welcomed the appointment of the duo stating CSA was confident it found individuals who will lead the Proteas back its glory days.
“The pair bring the required stability in both leadership and form to turn the ship in the direction that will eventually bring trophies back to the cabinets,” Smith said.
Smith also paid tribute to de Kock adding that CSA expected him to continue playing an “integral role” in the team’s leadership group.
“We are grateful to Quinton for the work he has put in as captain of the team in the limited overs formats and are indebted to him for stepping up while the National Selection Panel continued its search for the Test captain.”