Cape Town – A crestfallen Temba Bavuma could not hide his “disappointment” over his omission from the SA20 League on Thursday.
Addressing the media ahead of the Proteas limited-overs tour to India in an online engagement, the national team’s white-ball captain was visibly despondent.
Bavuma’s non-selection for any of the six franchises has undoubtedly disturbed him, but even more alarming is the fact that once again there has been a narrative related to his race that has stirred up on social media.
The 32-year-old has addressed this issue before when he was dropped from the Test side a couple of years ago, but felt “it's not the right time” to delve into it any further right now.
"I'm cautioning myself to delve too deep into the matter. Whenever the right time comes, I'll look more into it. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any feelings of disappointment," Bavuma said.
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"Obviously one expected to play a role in the tournament. But it's not just me, it's Andile (Phehlukwayo) too, a man who's played a lot of white ball cricket for South Africa.
"From my side, there are feelings of disappointment."
Bavuma’s leadership credentials is much-valued within the Proteas environment, and the captain once again opted to put his team ahead of his individual disappointment with a couple of crucial months ahead, which includes the T20 World Cup in Australia.
"I almost feel let down in a way. I don't think it comes down to any entitlement on my side," he said.
"I also have to caution myself from delving too deep into it. It's probably not the right time. As much as I want to perhaps speak about the issue too, it's not the right time. Our focus is India and the T20 World Cup.”
Bavuma stressed that part of coping with the “outside noise” is by staying clear of social media.
"To be honest, I haven't been following the media and reaction as I generally do anyway. It's comforting to know there's a section of the cricketing community who share my sentiments," said Bavuma.
"You want to be selected on whatever merit and credentials. I know what I'm feeling but I don't know what's happening outside."
Bavuma is returning to the national team after a spell on the sidelines through injury after fractured his elbow on the last tour of India in June.
In his absence, David Miller led the Proteas to a 2-1 T20I series victory over England and 2-0 win over Ireland. Keshav Maharaj was in charge of the ODI team in England with the series drawn 1-1.