East London – Former Proteas fast-bowler Mfuneko Ngam says up-and-coming youngster Kagiso Rabada is on the right track to reach great heights in South African cricket.
Ngam was speaking at Fort Hare University, near East London, where he coaches and plays a big role in grassroots development programmes with the assistance of Cricket SA and sponsors Momentum.
Knowing better than most, he said managing the heavy workloads expected of tearaway quicks was always a major concern.
“From my background, if I were to compare myself and him, he's more mature than I was at the same stage,” Ngam said.
“I did things differently, because all I wanted to do was bowl quick. The way I trained was the wrong approach. I would train until I couldn't move my feet anymore.”
At the tender age of 21, the Eastern Cape bowler managed just three Tests for the Proteas, making his debut against New Zealand in 2000. He took 11 wickets, averaging 17.18, however, he was plagued by injury throughout his shortened career, playing just 46
Rabada though was a different story and was on the correct path, he said.
“With the knowledge and structures Kagiso came through, and having been taught the things he was at a young age, I think he will go far.
“There's potential there, and management will be crucial.”
Taking 14 wickets for South Africa in their victorious under-19 World Cup campaign earlier this year, the 19-year-old Rabada was contracted to the Highveld Lions.
He made his debut for the Proteas in the T20 series against hosts Australia last week where he picked up his first international wicket at senior level.
On the issue of transformation in the national side, Ngam felt it would be better to assess the changes at franchise and school level and not by looking at the make-up of the Proteas.
“I think CSA is on the right track. It's something I've always thought about though, that when it comes to transformation, we shouldn't look too much at the national team.
“Development is all about schools and franchises; that's where it should happen.” – Sapa