Cricket“I wanted to retire…I didn’t enjoy cricket”, Sisanda Magala on his journey
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Sisanda Magala has a remarkable story to share—one that showcases his determination and recent success, including winning an Indian Premier League (IPL) medal with the Chennai Super Kings. This is only the beginning for him.

The 2022/23 domestic season opener took place in Potchefstroom, where all Division One teams gathered to compete in the Cricket South Africa T20 Challenge. Among these teams was the highly successful Joburg-based Lions, who carried high expectations due to their talented squad, including fast bowler Sisanda Magala.

While Magala had been consistently performing well in domestic cricket, his skills didn’t always translate to success when representing the Proteas. Unfortunately, he faced criticism and ridicule on social media, with many disregarding the other qualities he brings to any team he represents.


Reflecting on this challenging period, Magala expressed, “It’s really weird because I think last year November I wanted to retire because I was tired of it all… I didn’t enjoy cricket; it felt like a chore. I always tell my family, my friends, and everyone in my close circle that the day I don’t enjoy playing this sport is the day I will retire and walk away from it.”

The negative noise from the outside world had started to affect Magala, a common experience for anyone exposed to social media and its barrage of negative news and comments. However, former Lions coach Wandile Gwavu played a significant role in helping Magala regain his focus. Gwavu’s words resonated with Magala, given their shared history from their Eastern Province Cricket days.

“At that time I was seriously thinking about retirement, but the SA20 was right around the corner, so I thought that perhaps it would be a breath of fresh air and revitalize my love for the game. And when it started, it really went well for me and the team because we ended up winning that tournament,” Magala recalled, emphasizing the impact of Gwavu’s conversation.

Magala worked hard to improve his fitness and, as a result, went from not playing in the T20 Challenge to becoming one of the most expensive buys in the inaugural SA20 auction.


His outstanding performances were instrumental in the Sunrisers Eastern Cape’s victory in the SA20 tournament, setting the stage for greater opportunities. Soon after, Magala donned the Proteas colors once again for the England 50-over series.

A few months later, his impressive displays against England, the West Indies, and the Netherlands caught the attention of the Chennai Super Kings, the most successful IPL franchise. Joining the IPL was a dream come true for Magala, who had harbored aspirations of playing in the tournament.

Magala acknowledged that he had let the outside noise affect him in the past, but with the support of his loved ones, he regained confidence in his abilities.

“Because of my support structure, I told myself that whatever people say about me wouldn’t take anything away from who I am and what I bring to the table. After that, I went back to domestic cricket, and the West Indies series came about, reigniting my passion and reminding me that there was a lot more left for me to do in my career,” he explained.steptodown

Magala’s journey from contemplating retirement in November to participating in the IPL just four months later has been transformative.

It has not only changed his perspective but also serves as a source of inspiration for aspiring cricketers, particularly in the Eastern Cape, where many talented individuals often face obstacles preventing them from reaching their full potential.

Magala shared words of encouragement for young athletes: “Don’t get discouraged, no matter how difficult the road may seem. That’s the beauty of life—we never know how close we are to achieving our goals. We often think we are far away, but the reality is that it only takes one ball, one phone call to change your situation.”