'I've just been curled up in a ball' – Springboks World Cup winner Nkosi speaks on disappearance

By Sports Desk December 06, 2022

South Africa winger Sbu Nkosi says he has been "curled up in a ball" amid his disappearance, after the World Cup winner was found "safe and sound".

The Bulls, Nkosi's domestic team, confirmed the 26-year-old had been found after discovering his whereabouts on Monday, with the club having had no contact with the player since mid-November.

Nkosi, a member of the Springboks team that claimed victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was not revealed to be missing publicly until his team confirmed they had filed a report over the weekend.

But now he has revealed he has been staying with family, disclosing he has taken time away to deal with mental health struggles.

"I'm a lot better," he told News24. "There's obviously a lot to speak about that I can't say out loud, but my condition is improving.

"It's just been a whole lot of mental pressure. It's been building up for a couple of years now. 

"There's too much to go into: the expectations, the fact that by choosing to take care of myself right now, there are people I'm letting down, and that also hurts me.

"There's a lot, but I'm at a point where I need to prioritise the person before the rugby player right now. I just needed time. I've basically been curled up in a ball with my dad, and he's been managing my mental state daily."

Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone revealed he met with Nkosi on Monday, and said the club would provide their full support to the winger over the coming period.

"We were thrilled to find Sbu and incredibly relieved to see that he was alive," he said in a statement. "Equally, we were saddened to see him in the state that he was in.

"I am however confident that we are in a good position to provide Sbu with the support he needs and that we should acknowledge his incredible courage to even say to us, that he is not okay.

"We are lucky today but tomorrow, our intervention may be too late and that is not something we want to see become a reality."

Related items

  • 'It is our destiny to win this World Cup': Chase says win over United States a testament of Windies intent to go all the way 'It is our destiny to win this World Cup': Chase says win over United States a testament of Windies intent to go all the way

    West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase believes it is his country's destiny to win the T20 World Cup following their nine-wicket victory over fellow co-hosts the United States.

    The 32-year-old took 3-19 as the USA were bowled out for 128, with Shai Hope hitting an unbeaten 82 from 39 balls as the Windies leapfrogged England in the race for the semi-finals. 

    "It is our destiny and our goal to win this World Cup," Chase said after the victory. "We want teams to know they have to beat us to win this World Cup."

    Rovman Powell's side equalled the record for the West Indies' most wins in a single calendar year (W9 in 2021) in T20Is, and face South Africa in Antigua next Monday. 

    The triumph continued their impressive T20 record at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, and they have now won five of their previous seven T20Is at the venue. 

    The last and only previous time they won more consecutive games in Barbados was a four-game streak from May 2010 to March 2014, which has got the West Indies believing they can claim a third title. 

    "It's very special," captain Powell said. "Kensington brings special memories for us. We had no better opportunity to come out and play some good cricket."

    The USA still holds on to the hopes of qualifying for the competition's semi-finals but knows their hopes of progression lie elsewhere. 

    Having lost their opening Super 8 fixture to South Africa, they will be hoping the Proteas can do them a favour in defeating the West Indies but would need a comprehensive victory of their own against current champions England. 

    "We lost wickets in clusters," captain Aaron Jones said. "I don't think we ever truly recovered from that. It was bad in the middle.

    "We'll go back to the drawing board and come back hard against England on Sunday."

  • Buttler: Powerplay cost England against South Africa Buttler: Powerplay cost England against South Africa

    England captain Jos Buttler believes his side lost their match against South Africa in the powerplay after losing by seven runs in the Super 8s.

    South Africa registered their second-most productive powerplay in the tournament so far, with Quinton de Kock proving invaluable with 49 runs during that time.

    In England's powerplay, they managed to get just 41 runs, their lowest such tally of the year, and though they pushed late on, they came up just short in the chase.

    Buttler admitted that in hindsight, it was South Africa's start that cost England in the end, despite giving themselves a reachable target.

    "I'd say it was lost in the powerplay," Buttler said. "Quinton de Kock came out and played with really good intent, and we couldn't really match that. I think we were about 20 behind them at the end of our first six.

    "The wicket did slow up, which allowed us to pull it back in the middle, and we were happy to be chasing 160. But yeah, that innings was the difference.

    "It's still a good pitch but a little slower than we probably expected. I'm proud of how we responded with the ball after their good powerplay, and Brook and Livingstone had an excellent partnership there to take us so close.

    "At one stage, we were favourites but T20 cricket is never that simple, and credit to South Africa for closing it out.

    "We know we're still in it. We played well today; we just didn't quite get over the line."

    De Kock, who finished on 65, was named Player of the Match for his impressive turn – he equalled the fastest half-century of the tournament (22 balls, level with USA's Aaron Jones), and broke his own record for the most runs in a powerplay by a South Africa batter at a men's T20 World Cup.

    South Africa remain unbeaten in the tournament so far and have put themselves in a good position to qualify for the semi-finals, and De Kock was pleased with how they got the win on Friday.

    "My plan was to just bat as long as I can and score as many runs I can," De Kock said. "That was pretty much it. I don't really carry or lose confidence; I just get on with my game. So that is what I focused on.

    "I thought we bowled really well, especially in the powerplay. We controlled it really nicely. Overall, we were pretty solid and to defend on 160 on a decent pitch is a good effort."

  • South Africa narrowly beat England to edge closer to World Cup semi-finals South Africa narrowly beat England to edge closer to World Cup semi-finals

    South Africa made it two wins from two in the T20 World Cup Super 8s with a seven-run victory over England on Friday, edging them closer to the final four.

    Quinton de Kock starred for the Proteas, but it was Anrich Nortje who ensured England could not win thanks to his bowling in the final over.

    South Africa got off to the perfect start, registering their second-most productive powerplay in the tournament so far, without losing a wicket.

    De Kock hit his half-century off 22 balls, eventually finishing with 65. However, they soon slipped away as England rallied.

    Despite an early over costing him 21 runs, Archer finished strongly on 3-40, helped by some superb catching from Jos Buttler as England eventually limited them to 163-6.

    However, England could not keep that momentum going when they stepped up to bat, getting just 41 runs in their own powerplay – their lowest tally this year.

    It was not until the introduction of Harry Brook (53) and Liam Livingstone (33) that they found their groove, but when the former got caught in the in the final over, Sam Curran and Jofra Archer could not get the 14 runs they needed from the final five balls, finishing just short on 156-6.

    Data Debrief: Records aplenty for De Kock

    De Kock has scored back-to-back fifties at the T20 World Cup, but his tally today equalled the fastest half-century of the tournament (USA's Aaron Jones also got 50 off 22 balls).

    His 49 runs in the powerplay is the most by a South Africa batter at a men's T20 World Cup, beating his own previous record of 46 against England in 2016.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.