Thulas Nxesi, South African minister of sports and recreation. Photo: Oupa Mokoena
JOHANNESBURG – South African minister of sport and recreation Thulas Nxesi has told the Proteas cricket team to go back to the drawing board following their Champions Trophy exit at the hands of India in London on Sunday.

“As for the Proteas cricket team, better luck next time. I hope you will go back to the drawing board and identify what went wrong so that next time, you can also bring victory to our nation,” said Nxesi.

Away from yet another failure at an ICC cricket event, it was a top sporting weekend for South Africa. The Springboks beat France 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday, while Bafana Bafana achieved a first-ever victory over hosts Nigeria in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

In Jamaica, SA’s 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk improved the SA record in the 200m to 19.84 seconds. In Austria on Sunday, South African golfer Dylan Frittelli picked up his first European Tour win and in the process moved inside the top 100 in the world golf rankings to number 76.

South Africa now have five golfers inside the top 100 in the world. The minister, however, did not make any mention of the breakthrough victory of Frittelli.

“It has been a great sporting weekend for all South Africans. Well done to both our national teams and our versatile athlete Wayde van Niekerk, for their great victories this past Saturday,” said Nxesi.

“Coach Alister Coetzee and the rugby national team did us proud in front of all South Africans by ensuring that they reign supreme against the France national team. I urge them to continue with the same momentum getting into the remaining two Test matches to be played at both Durban and Johannesburg.”

“To coach Stuart Baxter and Bafana Bafana, such a tremendous display away by our boys was extremely refreshing. Such victories in the past have been very niche and with what we all saw on Saturday, there is indeed more coming out of the Bafana Bafana national team.

“I therefore urge coach Stuart Baxter to continue doing us proud and he must ensure that our players take every game with the same determination and courage irrespective where we are playing, at home or away. We also hope that on Tuesday against Zambia, the boys will do us proud irrespective of the status of the match.

“As far as our versatile athlete is concerned, Wayde van Niekerk, no form of motivation or words I can give to him except to say: keep on flying our national flag very high, you remain an astute ambassador of our country and once more, well done."