Image courtesy of: Zimbio
The father of South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has insisted that his son will continue to put his country first over lucrative domestic Twenty20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL).
At only 21, Rabada has already established himself as one of the most lethal seamers in international cricket and he was rewarded for it at the IPL auction on Monday, where he was bought for INR 5 crore (approximately USD 750,000) by the Delhi Daredevils.
But, while Dr Mpho Rabada was proud to see Kagiso secure almost 10 million Rand at the IPL auction, he wants his son to stay focused on his international career.
“I am happy for him and supportive of him reaching his goals. His future can’t be summed up by bagging an IPL contract but more by longevity in the game at the highest possible level,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “His successful inclusion is one of the key significant milestones in his career. I think it will encourage him to raise his game and more importantly apply the skills in the national team. The national team is the pride and dream of KG [Rabada], thus remaining very important.”
Rabada has already proved how much playing for the Proteas means to him as last year, he opted against featuring in the IPL in order to take up a county stint with Kent.
With the Champions Trophy being held in England in June, Rabada felt that he needed to give himself time to get accustomed to the conditions and believed that last year was the best time to do it.
“He felt that he was not ready last year and we were supportive of the decision after deliberations but now it has finally happened,” Rabada’s father said.
Rabada will head to India for the IPL straight after South Africa’s ongoing tour of New Zealand concludes in March. But, he will be made to leave the IPL earlier than it finishes in order to prepare for the Champions Trophy.
While there will be concerns that the Johannesburg native will not have gotten enough rest in the lead-up to the Champions Trophy, Geoffrey Toyana, who coaches the Lions franchise that Rabada plays for, is confident that the young fast bowler will be able to power through.
“KG is an athlete. He has a good, clean bowling action and so far, touch wood, he has not had any injuries,” Toyana said. “It will always be important for him to watch where he plays and how much he plays but I am not too worried about him. He knows himself and his body and he will know if it’s becoming too much.”
As for the money he will be receiving from the IPL, Rabada could use some of it on himself, given the fact that he recently obtained his driver’s license and has a love of fashion and music. But, Toyana feels that the 21-year-old will be smarter about what he does with his finances.
“He is smart kid, so I’ll say he will probably look at making some investments,” he said. “I don’t think he will spend it on anything silly and he has his dad as a mentor.”