Dubai: Made up of strong limbs and a liberated mind, Kagiso Rabada invoked Nelson Mandela and emphasized Thursday on fighting for the right causes without ‘shoving’ his opinion down anyone’s throat. Kagiso Rabada did not talk about the usual ‘cricket stuff’. Instead he spoke about the influence Mandela had on him and how it changed his life’s philosophy.
“Nelson Mandela played a huge role in the world and particularly in South Africa. Fighting for basic need that is freedom and it is important that nobody feels inferior. It’s important,” Rabada said.
“Liberation of mind is the most important thing and that’s the message you want to spread as a sportsman as you have a platform,” he added.
Rabada is one of the world’s premier fast bowlers and currently the IPL’s leading wicket-taker. He has taken 21 wickets from 10 games for Delhi Capitals.
While he is a celebrity in his own right, Rabada loves to think of him as an everyday person. “A lot of people look up to us as sportsman but if I compare myself with an everyday person, I am probably the same. Cricket gives me a platform and also social responsibility. It is a reminder that I need to fight for the right causes. But I will never shove my opinion or ideas down anyone’s throat,” Rabada asserted.
“I will express my opinion as I am doing on this stage and on a political front, liberation is important. Human Rights being treated with dignity is important,” the eloquent Proteas pacer added.
Regarding the IPL and his brilliant form, Rabada said that the pitches in the UAE are like the sub-continental tracks.
“Conditions here are tricky. Sometimes, we are playing on fresh wickets and at times on used wickets. Sharjah at the beginning was flat. Par score went down from 210 to 180. In Dubai, it was about 180 and it has stayed the same. So we are trying to reach that figure,” Rabada pointed out.
In Abu Dhabi, there have been a few games where ball has been seaming around. All pitches are on the slower side compared to India and they are different kind of slow. I feel the conditions in the UAE have something for all kind of bowlers,” Rabada added.
He was all praise for his fast bowling partner Anrich Norte, who has captured everyone’s imagination with his express pace. However, Rabada added a note of caution stating that they would have to deliver when it matters most.
“He (Nortje) has done really well. He has got a lot of pace and is also willing to learn which is a great trait to have. Giving our best is on our nature. We need one more win to qualify and hopefully we can give our best when it matters most. We are taking it game by game and not walking around as if we are the most lethal pair,” Rabada stated.