Biography: Temba Bavuma is a South African cricketer who is the current captain of the South African cricket team in Tests and ODI cricket and formerly captained in T20I. He is the first black African cricketer to make a Test century for South Africa and the first to captain the side. He is also a golfer and a businessman who owns a sports academy and a clothing brand.
Early Life and Education
Bavuma was born on 17 May 1990 in Cape Town. He grew up in Langa, a township outside Cape Town, where he experienced the intense cricket culture of the area. He shared the same street with other cricketers such as Thami Tsolekile and Malusi Siboto. Bavuma attended South African College Junior School in Newlands and then moved to Johannesburg for secondary school at St David’s Marist College in Sandton. He loved cricket from a young age and played for Soweto Cricket Club, where he received mentorship from Geoffrey Toyana.
Temba Bavuma Domestic Career
Bavuma made his first-class debut for Gauteng in 2008 against Eastern Province when he was 18 years old. He batted in the middle order and made four runs in the first innings. He made his franchise debut for the Lions in the 2010/11 season and soon established himself as a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit. Bavuma scored his maiden first-class century against the Knights in 2011 and finished the season with an average of 53.08.
He was the fifth-highest run-scorer in the Sunfoil Series in 2012/13 and 2013/14. The cricketer became the vice-captain of the Lions in 2013/14. He has a high conversion rate of 50s to 100s, scoring 16 centuries and 48 half-centuries in first-class cricket. Additionally, he has played for Cape Cobras, Durban Heat, Northamptonshire, Jozi Stars, and Sunrisers Eastern Cape in various formats.
Bavuma was called up to the Test squad to play West Indies in 2014 after impressing for South Africa A. He made his Test debut on 26 December 2014 at Port Elizabeth, becoming the 320th Test player for South Africa. He scored 10 runs in his first innings and did not bat in the second innings as South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs.
The player made history on 5 January 2016 when he scored 102 not out against England at Cape Town, becoming the first black African batsman to score a Test century for South Africa. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and his teammates for his landmark achievement. Bavuma scored his second Test century against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom in 2017, making 137 runs. He has played 56 Tests for South Africa, scoring 2997 runs at an average of 35.25, with two centuries and 20 half-centuries.
Bavuma made his ODI debut on 25 September 2016 against Ireland at Benoni, scoring 113 runs off 123 balls. He became one of the three Proteas cricketers to score a century on ODI debut, along with Colin Ingram and Reeza Hendricks. He then scored his second ODI century against Bangladesh at Kimberley in 2017, making 104 runs off 113 balls.
The cricketer scored his third ODI century against England at Johannesburg in 2020, making 98 runs off 103 balls. He scored his fourth ODI century against Pakistan at Centurion in 2021, making 103 runs off 117 balls. His fifth ODI century came against India at Mumbai in 2023, making 144 runs off 140 balls. He has played 37 ODIs for South Africa, scoring 1512 runs at an average of 47.25, with five centuries and four half-centuries.
Bavuma made his T20I debut on 18 September 2019 against India at Mohali, scoring 49 runs off 43 balls. He scored his maiden T20I half-century against Australia at Port Elizabeth in 2020, making 72 runs off 51 balls. He has played 36 T20Is for South Africa, scoring 670 runs at an average of 21.61, with one half-century.
Captaincy and Achievements
Temba Bavuma was appointed as the captain of the South African cricket team in limited-overs formats in March 2021. Bavuma became the first black African to permanently captain a South African side. He was responsible for leading the team in the next two T20 World Cups, in 2021 and 2022, and the next 50-over World Cup in 2023. He became the vice-captain of the Test team under Dean Elgar.
Bavuma became the first black African to captain South Africa in Test cricket in July 2021, when he led the team against West Indies at Kingston. He scored 75 runs in the first innings and 18 in the second, as South Africa won by 158 runs. He has captained South Africa in 10 Tests, 15 ODIs, and 16 T20Is, winning six, eight, and seven matches respectively.
Bavuma has been recognised as one of the best batsmen and leaders in South African cricket. He has won several awards and accolades for his performances and contributions. He was the South African Cricketer of the Year in 2016, and also won the Test Cricketer of the Year and the KFC So Good Award. The cricketer was nominated for the same award in 2017, 2018, and 2020. He was also named as the ODI Cricketer of the Year in 2020 and 2021. Bavuma was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver by the President of South Africa in 2019, for his excellence in sports and for inspiring young cricketers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Temba Bavuma Personal Life
Bavuma tied the knot with Phila Lobi in 2018 and they have a son named Langa. Bavuma is also a keen golfer and plays regularly with his friends and teammates. He has a handicap of 12 and has participated in several charity golf tournaments.
The cricketer is also a businessman and an entrepreneur who owns a sports academy called Temba Bavuma Foundation, which aims to provide cricket coaching and education to underprivileged children. He also owns a clothing brand called Temba Bavuma Apparel, which sells sportswear and accessories.