Take a bow Fiso…you are one of sport’s brightest talentThomas Kwenaite
By Andile and Mandla Dladla
SuperSport International anchor and one of the growing list of fantastically gifted television presenter Fisokuhle Mazibuko says he can never forget the heat in Dubai especially Abu Dhabi which he claims is pretty intense as well as in Sharjah all three venues where they worked throughout the ICC Men’s Cricket T20 World Cup.
A multi-talented presenter with a charming personality enhanced by his boyish good looks, Mazibuko has emerged like a breadth of fresh air in an environment that is unfortunately suffocated by cliché after tired cliché to blaze his own trail as the one to watch.
“I remember arriving in Dubai,” recalls Mazibuko. “It was around 22:00pm and yet there was no respite from the heat. It was boiling hot so straight away you knew what you were facing during the day if it was that hot at night.
“We went to our hotel to quarantine for six days and you kinda forget that it’s hot outside because of the air-conditioning inside.
That was until the first day you started working outside because then it hits you that it is really hot but it’s one that I was mentally ready for and we had no option but to soldiered on.
Mazibuko confessed that sometimes as human beings, we dream on and never envisage of the reality but build our world according to our dreams.
“But for me to be there covering the T20 World Cup was a dream come true. I mean, to sit along-side New Zealand great and commentator Simon Dioull was simply unbelievable.
“Two former English captains Nadir Hussein and Michael Atherton who are also two of the top broadcasters in the world and to find myself speaking daily to our own team South Africa I don’t think I could put the whole experience into words.
“In addition, to simply get complemented for a job well done from people that you hold in high esteem throughout the tournament was a feeling that was second to none and as a young man from KwaZulu-Natal I never dreamt of it at all because it all seemed too far-fetched.
“I can’t even call it my dream but to be living out my life in this manner is hard to explain. I was deeply humbled to be at the World Cup because few people get the opportunity to be at that level. And I hope I did everyone proud…my family, especially my mother and everyone back home at Umlazi, Amanzimtoti and eThekwini in general.”
“I thought South Africa did extremely well. They did a lot better than what everyone expected. They have been notching up good results in the T20 cricket over the last few months.
“We started slowly against Australia but to win four out of five games in the group of death tells you something about the tenacity and the overall quality of the team.
“You look at that performance I almost felt like maybe we didn’t believe strongly enough that we had the capabilities but when you look at how the team performed from there it was nothing short of miraculous.
“The conditions suited the style of batting that we had, it was the sort of conditions that were better suited for more technically gifted players. The batsmen that could strike at 130.0 and get us to competitive scores of 160 runs.
I personally believe that our bowling was out of this world and both Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje were fantastic and everyone chipped in. It was a performance that all South Africans can be proud of.
It is the first time we bowed out of a World Cup and everyone was like okay well done boys. We flew the flag high and well led by Temba Bavuma which is something to build on and we can continue playing that cricket we can do well in tournaments going forward.”
Mazibuko explained that if asked to name three of his all-time greatest cricketers, he would not hesitate to mention Herschel Gibbs. He said he would pay good money to watch him play even if he scored just 30 runs, all he needed is just a few boundaries and even revealed that as a kid, he always tried to bat just like Gibbs but forgot that the man was just a freak and cricket just came easy to him.
“Sir Vivian Richards is one other great cricketer I didn’t get to see play but I’ve been lucky enough to watch a lot of old video reels of him and what stood out for me was the confidence that he had and that proud swagger he had as a black man that no matter who was on at the other end, I was good enough to destroy you.
“One of the reasons he is one of my sporting heroes is because of what he also stood for as a man. Someone who stood with South Africa during those dark apartheid times and refused huge amounts of cheques to come and play in a country where people were judged by their skin colour like it was the case in South Africa.
“The last one has to be Brian Charles Lara, arguably one of the best batman ever in my book. My grandfather used to love him so much he always used to speak animatedly about him whenever he used to find me watching cricket no matter who was playing and he’d always ask where is Lara?”
It is just not easy to win in India and the 2023 World Cup will take a lot of doing to win it there. Is it impossible? Absolutely not but playing against spin will need to prioritized.
Mazibuko predicts that countries like Pakistan are playing unbelievable cricket, while India will no doubt be a force to reckon with and the Australians are always a factor in a World Cup while the English are always unbelievably good.