CAPE TOWN - PROTEAS T20 captain Temba Bavuma is hoping “to lead South Africa to something they haven’t done before” when his team open their T20 World Cup campaign against Australia in Abu Dhabi on October 23.
The South African Men’s team, who have won just one ICC trophy back in 1998 when they annexed the ICC Knockout Cup, have been searching for major silverware ever since, with plenty of semi-final disappointment baggage picked up over the intervening years.
They will now have another opportunity under new captain Bavuma to bring joy to their long-suffering fans. The Proteas are grouped with England, Australia, and the defending champions West Indies along with two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers from Round 1. They will face the Windies on 26 October in Dubai and England on 6 November in Sharjah.
“The group that we are in is an exciting one and we’re looking forward to facing off with everyone in it as we go about our mission to reach the final and the ultimate championship,” Bavuma said. “We have an exciting team that we are building with a lot of raw talent, coupled with the experienced hands that will guide and lead the youngsters. We have spent the greater part of the year preparing for this contest.
“For me, personally, it is a massive honour and I look forward to leading the guys to do something that has never been done before.”
Bavuma has transformed the Proteas’ T20 fortunes since taking over the leadership reins on a permanent basis earlier this year. Prior to Bavuma’s elevation to the captaincy, South Africa had lost five success T20I series.
The diminutive right-hander has since led South Africa to successive T20 series wins over a powerful West Indies (3-2) outfit and Ireland (3-0) – both away – recently.
The Proteas will have a final three-match series against Sri Lanka away next month as they fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup.
South Africa's full schedule
23 Oct: Australia v South Africa, Abu Dhabi (2pm)
26 Oct: South Africa v West Indies, Dubai (2pm)
30 Oct: South Africa v A1, Sharjah (2pm)
2 Nov: South Africa v B2, Abu Dhabi (2pm)
6 Nov: England v South Africa, Sharjah (6pm)