TBIn a week when racism took the centre stage, Temba Bavuma silenced racism   by scoring a century in a game against England, changing the general discourse from one condemnation to one of celebration.

The sport of cricket in South Africa has always been known as a white elite sport, with little to no black players being given opportunities to ply their trade as specialist batsman. The list of black players to have been involved with the Proteas have always been bowlers, as if to say Black cricket players aren’t good enough to be chosen as batsman.

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Bavumas achievement of scoring his maiden test century comes at a time when the odds were increasingly stacked against him and the team. His inclusion into the team felt forced as the white media weren’t singing his anthem, he wasn’t the next big thing, and he wasn’t the next great talent but rather an obligation from the selectors to include black players into the team. Oddly it was time to include a black batsman and this inclusion coincidently coincided with the Proteas fall in form.

Bavuma 25, was playing in his seventh test match, having scored 145 runs and with a high score of 54 runs in his previous games, he seemed an unlikely prospect make a meaningful contribution to what was seemingly a desperate situation for the Proteas.

Bavuma 102 from 148 balls was scored with style and grace showing off a full closet of shots. The rate at which he scored his runs told the story of a man who wasn’t phased by the pressure but rather thrived in it and of a man who felt at home and was in his element. His feat brought the test match to life again and gave the Proteas an almost certain life line with the match and the series.

The myth that black batsman aren’t good enough is surely now a thing of the past and we will be expecting to see more black players being brought the ranks. Even if it mean not using AB as wicket keeper to bring the talent in.

GS Editor