An open letter to the South African Cricket fans to keep supporting their team
Dear South African National Cricket Team fans,
Greetings!!! Firstly congratulations to you and your team for making it to the semi finals off ICC CWC 2015 and giving the sport one of the best ODIs ever. Your team has played its Cricket in the right spirit of the game. South Africa’s slot in the final four of this event aptly justifies the quality of Cricket they showcased. The team wore the honor of all the Proteas fans on their sleeves and had hopes of lifting its maiden World Cup gold.
Yes the defeat in the semi-final against New Zealand was a deeply hurtful one. The team was in the hunt for a major chuck of the play’s duration but then made silly errors in the field which eventually led to its doom.
The defeat was an intensely emotional one and the tears won’t stop for a while. This is the time you back your team and praise them for their valiant efforts. While South Africa has been tortured by repeated failures in major tournaments, the fans have always risen to the fore and supported the team with unlimited passion and enthusiasm. This World Cup has unfolded the same old story for the Proteas fans but there is still a lot to take heart from this campaign. This is the time where the team needs all the support it can receive. And the true fans won’t stop supporting their team no matter how much this defeat hurts.
The Proud Legacy of the Proteas
It has been a mixed tournament for the South Africans in terms of results at the league stage. The rainbow nation has always been a formidable side since its return to International Cricket in 1992. South African Cricket gave us Jacques Kallis - the best all rounder of the modern age, fast bowling greats such as Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and the modern day great Dale Steyn. It gave us one the most courageous captains in the form of Graeme Smith. While the whole cricketing world under estimated the virtues of a good fielding unit, South Africa rose to prominence as the best fielding side thanks to the likes of Johnty Rhodes and Herschelle Gibbs.
And to all these legends of the game who ended their careers without a World Cup, the team owes them one and needs to be strongly backed by you “The Fans”. Its your support that keeps motivating the team. As the team gears up again, you do your part, paint the African colors on your skin, wave the African flag again and chant for the Proteas.
Bet on South Africa to be back with vengenance in the 2019 ICC CWC.
The Chokers Tag – Blown out of Proportion
The tag Chokers is like the dreaded recurring nightmares that haunt the nation whenever it is in a key knock out situation. It has been a cause of great concern and shall remain the monkey on South Africa’s back until they win the World Cup.
Some of the crushing defeats such as the one in the inaugural edition of the World T20 against India, the 1999 ICC CWC semi final against Australia serve as genuine examples of choking at the biggest occasion. But in most cases, it has been just one lapse of concentration which has cost South Africa the entire tournament. Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh in the 1999 WC and AB de Villiers missing the key runouts in this year’s semi-final are examples of such singular instances that have costed the Proteas dearly.
But this is just one side of the story, your team does not seem to be destiny’s favorite. Nature spoiled the party and halted the dream comeback when rain interruption reduced the equation to the impossible 22 runs in 1 one ball in the 1992 ICC CWC Semi final against England.
Even in the semis, the D/L method may well have worked to the advantage of the Kiwis. Had the rain not interrupted the match and with AB de Villiers and David Miller going absolutely berserk in the final 10 overs, the actual target could have been way bigger. New Zealand would have faced a much more daunting uphill battle then.
So don’t give up on your team, come another crunch situation and you can bank on the quality of Cricket your boys are capable of putting up. There is absolutely no reason to write off your team and stop supoorting them.
The Well Balanced Team
A batting lineup featuring Hashim Amla, Faf du Plesis combined with the power hitting abilities of skipper AB de Villiers and David Miller is capable of murdering any bowling line up in the world on any given turf. The bowling of the team looks superb now with Imran Tahir coming of age. South Africa has always lacked a quality spinner but Tahir seems to have turned the tide. A pace bowling department that includes the likes of Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Kyle Abott and possibly the best bowler in the last decade, Dale Steyn can run through the strongest of batting line-ups without breaking a sweat. The disciplined bowling is backed up by some superb athletic fielders, not letting the batsmen scamper singles easily..
There is no cause for alarm as far as the talent pool is concerned. Your team has some of the biggest and brightest stars of the Cricketing World. There is despair amongst you right now which can be rightly understood but keep battling through this storm and one day the light will shine bright on you. One day(hopefullly soon enough) you team will shed the imposed stereotype and be the David that will slays the Goliath.