Temba Bavuma gets SA20 deal after impressive hundred against England

After going unsold at the auction last year, he will now replace Tom Abell at Sunrisers Eastern Cape

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Temba Bavuma celebrates his captain's century in Bloemfontein, South Africa vs England, 2nd ODI, Bloemfontein, January 29. 2023

Temba Bavuma was the leading run-scorer for South Africa in the recently concluded series against England  •  Getty Images

Temba Bavuma's performances in South Africa's 2-1 ODI series win over England have landed him an SA20 deal after he was snubbed at the auction last year. Bavuma will replace Tom Abell at Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Bavuma's big-hitting impressed the franchise to call him in for Abell, who will be joining England Lions.
Bavuma was South Africa's leading run-scorer in the series, with 180 runs from three matches, which was his most successful as an ODI batter. He struck a match-winning century in the second ODI, which also sealed the series, and maintained a strike rate of over 100 throughout the three matches. Having previously been criticised for his lack of big-hitting, Bavuma hit 23 fours and three sixes on two of the biggest grounds in South Africa in Bloemfontein and Kimberley, and also led the South African side well.
Bavuma has been under criticism for his poor scoring rate in T20Is. He had also spoken of his "disappointment" at not being picked in the SA20 auction last September. He had set his base price at Rand 850,000 (US$48,000 approx.) but did not find any takers. Despite being South Africa's white-ball captain, not getting picked in his country's T20 league had "let him down". However, he redeemed himself in white-ball cricket with a series-winning, high-quality hundred against England in the second ODI.
After his hundred, Bavuma spoke about the pride he felt in being able to show people "I am still here", and said he had worked with stand-in coach Shukri Conrad on changing his mindset to be able to take on bowlers more. His back-foot play and his shot selection against spinners were particularly impressive, and later he said it was one of his best innings.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent