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South Africa and their World Cup Jinx

South Africa’s quest for a major international cricket trophy has become enough of an obsession for the team as well as all Protea’s fan. South Africa one of the toughest team to come over in Bilateral series but snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the last few ICC Cricket World Cups.

South Africa were winners of the first Champions Trophy, then known as the ICC Knockout Trophy, in Bangladesh in 1998. Since then, six further knockout/Champions Trophy tournaments have produced four semifinal appearances, all of which ended in defeat

South Africa starts the ICC tournament group stage in an impressive note but fail or choke before the penultimate hurdle. In 2011 world cup they were only team to defeat India in group stage but they choked badly in quarterfinal against Kiwi’s. Barring 2019 world cup , South Africa always start the tournament as one of the favorite but the same story continues.

Another factor that support their jinx is rain ; Rain and South Africa are like two sides of coin, whenever SA seems to be winning , rain spoil the party. Whether it was 1992 WC semi final where South Africa needed 22 of 13 but little drizzle and DLS made it 22 of 1 . And yes 2015 WC semifinal where Rain plays another big role in breaking millions of Proteas fan heart.

The Ghost of DLS. Sri Lanka v/s Australia 2007 World Cup… | by Tanay Naik |  All About Cricket | Medium
File Photo : SA needed 22 of 1 ball after match resumed after Rain interuption.

They were so unlucky that they miscalculated the DLS target ; in 2003, Durban, Sri Lanka 268/9 (50 overs) tie with South Africa 229/6 (45 overs) D/L method. Tournament co-hosts South Africa failed to progress beyond the group stage when they miscalculated a run chase in a rain-affected match against Sri Lanka, leading to the resignation of captain Shaun Pollock. Both teams were awarded two points under the Duckworth-Lewis method, ending Proteas’ hopes of progression to the Super Six stage.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2003: South Africa's misery with the Duckworth-Lewis  tag team - Cricket Country
File Photo: SA miscalculated DLS target.

Who can forget that epic climax of run out in 1999 world cup ? Even years later, with the Proteas still not having won an ICC trophy, that run out continues to remain a seminal moment of tragedy in South Africa cricket.  AB de Villiers writes in his autobiography, AB, that the match was his first brush with heartbreak.

File Photo : Klusener run out in 1999 WC semi-fianl

There are various factor that support this Jinx ; KOLPAK EXODUS and Quota System is one of the primary reason.

Herschelle Gibbs admitted there wasn’t a lack of talent in his country, but the world-class players did not possess the right temperament for the big games. South Africa always produces world-class players. But it’s the big match temperament and dealing with the pressure that’s been lacking over the years… until that changes, I can’t see anything changing.

Given their history in big tournaments, the ability to rise to the occasion in knockout games is the biggest challenge for South Africa.

Here’s a look at the bad memories of South Africa’s previous heartbreaking World Cup exits:

1992, SCG: South Africa 232/6 lost to England 252/6 (G Hick 83) by 19 runs (revised target) : DLS Incident

1999, Edgbaston: South Africa 213 (J Kallis 53; S Warne 4-29) vs Australia 213 (M Bevan 65, S Waugh 56; S Pollock 5-36) : Run out Incident

2003, Durban, Sri Lanka 268/9 (50 overs) tie with South Africa 229/6 (45 overs) D/L method : DLS miscalculation incident

2011 WC quaterfinal defeat vs Kiwi’s

2015 WC : Heart breaking and close defeat in semifinal against Kiwi’s.

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