Cricket SA just can’t get it right

The Citizen (KZN) - - Letters - Heinz Schenk

Sisanda Ma­gala’s con­tin­ued fit­ness is­sues are rapidly be­com­ing an em­bar­rass­ing saga for all in­volved. Ear­lier this week, the War­riors seamer – who was in­cluded in the Proteas’ ODI and T20 squads against Eng­land – once again had to be side­lined for the first T20 in East Lon­don be­cause he didn’t meet the team’s con­di­tion­ing stan­dards.

This hap­pened dur­ing the re­cently con­cluded one-day series too, where the 28-year-old was part of a con­di­tion­ing camp be­fore be­ing re­leased to play fran­chise cricket.

Pre­dictably, Ma­gala’s treat­ment be­came a po­lar­is­ing is­sue on so­cial me­dia, par­tic­u­larly from in­di­vid­u­als sym­pa­thetic to­wards him.

The crux of the ar­gu­ment was that team man­age­ment could’ve rather just stayed silent on the mat­ter, let him stay on as a non-play­ing mem­ber of the squad and not “em­bar­rassed” him.

Ma­gala has an un­de­ni­ably burly frame.

In this re­lent­less era of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, the fact that he’s not lean and mean will raise eye­brows.

On the one hand, one can un­der­stand why the Proteas made Ma­gala’s fit­ness lev­els pub­lic.

Lo­cal cricket is in dire need of trans­parency af­ter a few months of al­most ir­repara­ble dam­age.

It at least gives sup­port­ers a rea­son for why he’s not be­ing se­lected.

Clearly, di­rec­tor of cricket Graeme Smith and co weighed up (ex­cuse the pun) the op­tions and de­cided it’s bet­ter to go this route than to stay silent and make ev­ery­one spec­u­late why Ma­gala wasn’t be­ing given a run.

Yet, weirdly, he’s re­mained part of the squad and has been given an op­por­tu­nity again to prove his fit­ness.

How does that work?

If I’m not fit at the be­gin­ning of the week for the na­tional side, can I be­come fit at the end of it?

I’m not a fit­ness ex­pert, so I don’t have the an­swer to that.

Wouldn’t it have been bet­ter to re­lease him and make sure he fo­cuses all his en­er­gies on com­ing into con­tention for the Aussie series, which starts next week?

Ei­ther way, the af­fair has been han­dled pretty poorly.

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