Women’s World Cup: Recovering from alcohol abuse to levelling up as runners up, SA star Sinalo Jafta expresses how ‘this silver medal feels like gold’

Team Australia have once again dominated the T20 World Cup as they seal yet another win for that incredible trophy. It was a heartbreaking moment for South Africa Women who made their Finale entry possible for the first time but couldn’t put their hands on the trophy.

Sinalo Jafta checked herself into rehab for alcohol abuse four months before her silver medal at the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup, with the intention of retiring from cricket.

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“I was walking away from cricket. The 7th of October (2022) is when I made the decision I was going to go into treatment. I was done. I felt like I had nothing to give,” she told reporters through her tears after South Africa lost their first World Cup final to Australia.

“I am going to wear this, I am going to go to bed with it, I am going to shower with it, because this wasn’t even possible for me. This is probably my gold…. for now.”

“I remember coming back from the Commonwealth Games, and everything just broke. I lost who I was,” Jafta said.

Jafta blamed her excessive drinking on online abuse, which had a negative impact on her mental health. Jafta has been mocked for everything from her performance to her body weight and race as a wicketkeeper who bats mostly at No.8. It all became too much for her to bear at some point.

“Social media doesn’t support you. You have a really tough day and people just bullet you on social media. That sent me over the edge. It just wouldn’t stop,” she said. ” The team doctor and the management gave me two months of medical leave. I spent 56 days in treatment and I learnt the best about myself. They (online bullies) are irrelevant. People are allowed to have their opinions but it doesn’t define who I am. I am forever grateful for that.”