Cricket SA just can’t get it right
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.