Take it easy, Rabada – Ngam

CityPress - - Sport - ED­UAN ROOS sports@city­press.co.za

Kag­iso Rabada must be wrapped in cot­ton wool and pro­tected from bowl­ing too much.

This is the warn­ing from Mfu­neko Ngam, bet­ter known to his fans as The Black Mamba.

The for­mer Protea fast bowler was full of praise for South Africa’s new­est cricket hero, but warned Rabada should be nur­tured.

Rabada broke all sorts of records when he took 13/144 against Eng­land at Cen­tu­rion dur­ing the fourth test.

Just like Rabada, Ngam hit the cricket scene like a me­teor in 2000 when he bowled at around 150km/h. Ngam took 11 wick­ets (at an av­er­age of 17.18, with a best-in­nings anal­y­sis of 6/62) in his first three tests be­fore a se­ries of in­juries wrecked his ca­reer.

“I bowled way too much at a young age and my body could just not han­dle it,” said Ngam (37).

“I ex­er­cised un­til I could not move any more ... and then I would play a match.”

But he did not see the same prob­lems fac­ing Rabada.

“Th­ese days the work­load of play­ers, par­tic­u­larly fast bowlers, is man­aged sci­en­tif­i­cally. And Kag­iso is more ma­ture, stronger and fit­ter than I was then,” he said.

“But he must know when to ap­ply the brakes. He is some­one who can be­come a su­per­star in all three for­mats [test, one-day and T20 cricket].”

Th­ese days, Ngam heads Cricket SA’s academy at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare.

While Rabada’s feat at Cen­tu­rion brought bit­ter­sweet mem­o­ries, Ngam said he was very happy for the player.

“He and Temba [Bavuma] are the suc­cess sto­ries of CSA’s trans­for­ma­tion pro­gramme.

“They pave the way for other young black play­ers to rise through the ranks and, be­lieve me, soon we will have many more Rabadas and Bavu­mas com­ing through.”

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