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CAPE TOWN - Former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten has pledged his support for Temba Bavuma to guide South African cricket through this challenging period and pleaded with the fans to remain "patient" with the national team.
Kirsten, speaking exclusively as the first guest on our exciting new IOL Sports Show, believes the Proteas have the right man to lead South Africa in the long term.
"Temba is going to be absolutely outstanding. I really do for a number of reasons. I think he has proven his worth in both forms of one-day cricket. He is well respected by all his teammates. He has got a steeliness about him that is quite endearing. I am very positive about his leadership potential," said Kirsten, who played 286 matches for the Proteas.
In a wide-ranging interview this week, Kirsten told senior cricket writer and The IOL Sports Show host Zaahier Adams that he is hoping that Bavuma can bring a degree of calmness to an organisation that has been bedevilled by administrative chaos the past two years.
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"We are crying out for stability in South African cricket and just some continuity in our processes. That's why I think Temba as our first black captain in this country will bring a lot of healthy emotion to the cricket space," he said.
Bavuma, who has just overseen his first ODI series in the 2-1 loss to Pakistan this past week, won't unfortunately have the opportunity to rectify it in the T20I series starting on Saturday after being forced to withdraw with a hamstring injury on Friday. Heinrich Klaasen will lead the team in his injury-enforced absence.