In a week, Temba Bavuma will lead the Proteas into battle in the first T20 of a three-game series against India in Thiruvananthapuram, giving him a first chance to hit back at all the doubters and prove his omission from the SA20 teams was a mistake.
National white ball captain Bavuma failed to muster a bid in three bid attempts in Cape Town despite, or perhaps because of, a reserve price of R850,000.
The shock rebuff has caused virtually every franchise coach to be asked about how the player who will lead South Africa in the T20 World Cup the following month had managed to drop a spot in the six franchises to play in the SA20 next January.
They seemed as perplexed as the media.
“Just because you’re a good player in South Africa doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be recognized around the world,” Durban Super Giants coach Lance Klusener said when asked about the move. omission of The versatile Bavuma and Proteas Andile Phehlukwayo.
“I’m sure Temba and Andile feel the same as the other players who weren’t sold. But it was brutal there and there was a lot of competition.
MI Cape Town the coach, Simon Katich, the former Australian batsman, also attributed Bavuma’s absence to the competition for places.
“It’s tough, but there were a lot of good players who missed out because there was a lot of competition. And there was a lot of competition overseas for some spots,” Katich said.
While Bavuma has proven his star quality in Test and ODI cricket, his strike rate of 120.60 in T20 internationals and 124.67 domestically is considered low for the format.
But the often bizarre nature of the T20 auction was shown in how franchises were willing to pay a high price for Donovan Ferreira, the Northern batsman who is a near complete unknown overseas but managed to salvage 5, 5 million rand of Jobourg Super Kings in the first round of express auctions towards the end of the auction.
Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming, however, seems to be a fan.
“Donovan is relatively young, explosive and dynamic and he can also keep the wicket. I thought it would be a nice and easy buy, but the bidding made my heart race.
“He was the last key position we needed, our last roll of the dice and we just got him. Hopefully that effort will pay off for us.
“You can usually get some really good buys in the end and in the end it was a good day for us. The challenge is you set your budget but then you get blown away by one of your prices,” said Fleming.