Make no mistake as things stand in South Africa, the situation looks dark in the everyday life of a commoner.
With close to eight hours of power cuts everyday thanks to the dwindling electricity infrastructure, one definitely has plight galore as the repercussions are massive on the economy.
Perhaps when a blanket of misery surrounds the everyday Joe, his only chance to alleviate this anxiety is through a welcome ointment of sport.
Well, South Africa hasn’t really ticked all the boxes there too with the recent thrashing they received at the hands of Australia down under in the five day format. Deplorable to say the least.
But wait, there is light, there is hope, there is belief!
SA20 is the answer. The Mzansi’s own version of the IPL.
The swashbuckling, eye-grabbing and high on adrenalin T20 tournament that began last week has certainly lit up the South African public with crowds flocking to the stadiums to see their favourite stars perform.
The atmosphere has undoubtedly been electric with the six IPL owner backed teams sweating it out to grab the prized money on offer.
Apart from the cream of Protea talent, the six-franchises have also managed to get some well-known international names the likes of Jos Butler, Jason Roy, James Neesham, Eoin Morgan, Jofra Archer, Rashid Khan and Jason Holder to add the much needed strength and glitter to the tournament.
Having said this, what’s impressed me the most is the local South African talent on display the likes of Donovan Ferreira and Dewald Brevis among many more who have certainly made their mark in the initial part of this tournament scoring impressive half tons, aiding their respective franchises to victory.
Seeing these young and upcoming talents lock horns with some of the best around the globe certainly harbours well for South African cricket to find depth and become one of the most feared teams that we once knew them to be.
Barring the talent on display, Graeme Smith the erstwhile Protea captain and legend who also happens to be the commissioner of SA20 has come up with some novelty that’s furthered the intrigue element of this tournament.
SA20 has introduced the option for captains to select their final playing XI after the toss which certainly gives more leeway to the respective think tanks to name the final team after assessing their arsenal based on the outcome of the toss.
Definitely a leaf that even the ICC can take from SA20’s book!
The vibe is certainly one of positivity with the competitiveness some of the teams have shown this far in the tournament particularly the franchises from Pretoria and CapeTown.
One can only hope that this tournament in the time to come could serve as the starting point to bring the sheen back to the reeling fortunes of Proteas cricket and maybe, just maybe see some silverware come to the Mzansi.
Well, even the great Nelson Mandela would agree this country is now hungry for inspiration more than ever and what could be better than cricket being the answer and Proteas the go-getters.