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Kagiso Rabada on Nelson Mandela’s influence and ‘social responsibility’

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada believes that he has a “social responsibility” to speak up and fight for the right cause.

Rabada, who is currently competing at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates, has been vocal on the Black Lives Matter movement that engulfed Cricket South Africa several months ago.

Rabada’s Proteas team-mate Lungi Ngidi innocently took a stance in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in July, which since then saw former players of colour speaking up on mistreatment and racial inequality they had experienced in the South African cricket system.

Speaking at an IPL press conference on Friday ahead of the Delhi Capitals’ match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Rabada was asked about the influence the late South African president Nelson Mandela had on his life.

“I do think Nelson Mandela played a huge role in the world, particularly in South Africa – fighting for a basic need or right, which is freedom,” Rabada told reporters via an Indian publication, PowerSportz.

“It is important for people to not feel as if they are inferior. Liberation of the mind is the most important thing and I guess that’s the message you want to spread, especially as a sportsman where you do have a platform.

“There’s a a social responsibility I feel to, at times, just remember that fighting for the right causes is important and I wouldn’t want to shove my opinions down everyone’s throat.

“If I’m on this platform, I will express my opinions on this matter. It’s important for people to understand on a political front, liberation is really important and human rights to be treated with dignity is important.”

Rabada’s Delhi Capitals come off a loss to the Kings XI Punjab but are hoping to bounce back in Saturday’s encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders (12:00 SA time).

READ | Bravo! Rabada ramps up hunt for IPL record

Rabada currently has 21 wickets to his name, with his nearest challenger, former Dehli bowler Mohammed Shami, has taken 16 wickets thus far.

The 25-year-old recently became the fastest bowler to reach to 50 wickets in the IPL’s history, achieving that feat in his 27th competition appearance, beating Sunil Narine’s previous record of 32.

Rabada is currently 10 wickets away from West Indian Dwayne Bravo’s record of 32 scalps in a single season.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team