Temba Bavuma appointed new Proteas Test captain

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday announced the appointment of Temba Bavuma as Proteas Test captain. Picture: James Ross/EPA

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday announced the appointment of Temba Bavuma as Proteas Test captain. Picture: James Ross/EPA

Published Feb 17, 2023


Centurion - Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday announced the appointment of Temba Bavuma as Proteas Test captain as part of a restructure within the leadership group of the national team.

The 32-year-old will replace Dean Elgar at the helm of the red-ball format and will continue to lead the One-Day International (ODI) side. He has, however, relinquished the T20 International (T20I) captaincy with the new leader of that team to be named as part of the white-ball squad to face the West Indies next month.

Bavuma’s first assignment will be to lead a 15-man squad in the two-match Test series against the West Indies from February 28 to March 12 in Centurion and Johannesburg.

Elgar, meanwhile, remains available to play for the Proteas after captaining them in 15 Tests during a near-two-year reign.

“Cricket South Africa would like to welcome Temba as the new captain of the Proteas Men’s national team,” said Director of Cricket (DoC) Enoch Nkwe.

“He is a player that has vast captaincy experience both at domestic level and on the international stage having led both the ODI and T20I teams since March 2021 when he was appointed.

“We trust he will deliver on all our expectations and help carry the team forward after some excellent work by his predecessor Dean during the same period. At the same time I would like to sincerely thank Dean for all his commitment to the role over the past two years. He helped the team navigate through some stormy waters and put them in good position on the ICC World Test Championship table.

“Both men have made us proud with the work they have done within the wider Proteas group and look forward to the next step in what is a new era for the Proteas under the leadership of dual coaches Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter.”

As part of the restructure, the DoC also confirmed CSA was currently reviewing the National Selection Committee procedures, and had decided to release Victor Mpitsang from his role as National Convenor of Selectors. The current interim structure will see the head coaches of the respective teams playing a leading role in squad selections going forward.

“We also felt this was an opportune time to reassess the selection team and have decided to make some changes that we expect will help us with planning better in the future,” Nkwe explained. “In this regard, we thank Victor for the time he has invested with the national team over the last few years and wish him well for the future.”

Western Province batter Tony de Zorzi earns his maiden Test call-up following an impressive CSA 4-Day Domestic Series campaign for the Division 1 log leaders, having amassed 489 runs at an average of 122.25 at the top of the order. North West Dragons’ Senuran Muthusamy joins the Test squad for the first time since 2019.

Dolphins batter Keegan Petersen makes his return from a hamstring injury, with Lions’ Ryan Rickelton also named in the squad. Titans batter Aiden Markram has been drafted back in the Test squad, while his Titans teammate, Heinrich Klaasen will keep wicket.

Nkwe added: “This is a hugely important series for the Proteas as they begin life under a new captain and new Test coach in Shukri. As you will see, most of the players selected are those that have done very well for the national team in recent years and have been responsible for our current excellent standing in the WTC. There is a good blend of youth and experience and we are confident that the new coaching staff will get the best out of them as they build towards a better future for South African cricket.”

Test head coach Shukri Conrad added: “We believe we have selected the strongest possible group for this series against a strong West Indies team who are coming here fresh from beating Zimbabwe.

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“We are pleased to see the likes of Keegan Petersen fit again and ready to play after his injury. He will add some much-needed stability to the batting, which has also been strengthened by the return of Aiden Markram and maiden call-up of Tony de Zorzi.

“We look forward to a good series between two teams that are rebuilding and we expect to only get better as we spend more time together as a group in the weeks and months ahead.”

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Proteas Test squad: Temba Bavuma (captain, DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Tony de Zorzi (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Dean Elgar (Momentum Multiply Titans), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), Wiaan Mulder (DP World Lions), Senuran Muthusamy (North West Dragons), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Keegan Petersen (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Ryan Rickelton (DP World Lions).