In the aftermath of South Africa’s narrow defeat to India in the T20 World Cup final, the question on everyone’s lips is whether the Proteas choked under pressure or simply fell short against a superior opponent. The term “choker” has haunted South African cricket for decades, but this time, the narrative might not do justice to their journey.

During this historic final for South Africa on Saturday, 29 June, India batted first, scoring a total of 176 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. South Africa, chasing a daunting 177 for victory, rode on the heroic shoulders of Heinrich Klaasen, whose blistering 52 off just 27 balls had the nation on the edge of their seats. 

With every boundary and six, hopes soared that this might finally be the Proteas’ moment. As the innings progressed, the match hung in the balance, with the Proteas needing 30 runs off the final 30 balls. Quinton de Kock, Tristan Stubbs, and David Miller also contributed valiantly, but the task proved just a touch too steep in the end, with the Proteas finishing with 169 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. 

Captain Aiden Markram, visibly crushed yet proud of his team’s journey to their first World Cup final since ’92, summed it up perfectly, “Gutted for the time being, it’ll take some time to reflect on a really good campaign, hurts quite a bit but incredibly proud,” he said. 

They’ve proven they belong among the world’s best, and despite falling short this time, the future looks promising under Markram’s leadership.

While the wounds of defeat may sting now, South African cricket fans can hold their heads high. This Proteas team, with its grit and determination, has set a new standard. As we mourn what could have been, let’s also celebrate what was—a valiant effort that nearly rewrote history.

While our eyes may have been glued to the TV on Saturday watching the Proteas, by Sunday, all attention had shifted to Cyrils’ announcement of the Government of National Unity (GNU) cabinet. South Africa’s sporting world just got a new captain, one who will hopefully not leave our athletes ‘choking’.

Former gangster and Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has taken on a new role as South Africa’s Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture. His mission? To kick gangsterism out of the park and onto the sports field. “A child in sport, is a child out of court,” stated  Mckenzie, who has already outlined plans to promote sports like spinning and harness their potential to address gangsterism in South Africa. 

For those of us who are not car enthusiasts, spinning is a South African motorsport that involves driving cars at high speeds in tight circles. 

McKenzie’s appointment to the cabinet comes at a critical juncture, following the departure of former Minister Zizi Kodwa amidst bribery and corruption allegations.

Despite initially aiming for key positions in the Ministries of Home Affairs and Police, McKenzie has already laced up his boots and expressed gratitude for his current role.

“Thank you to president Cyril Ramaphosa, there was a lot of people who didn’t want me or the PA to be in this coalition,” said McKenzie. “We wanted Home Affairs and Police, but the ones that truly follows us know we also wanted sport”.

Now, with spinning cars set to become the next big thing and a fresh playbook to tackle gangsterism, McKenzie’s tenure promises to be anything but ordinary.Read more about who’s who and who’s GNU in Cyril’s cabinet.