Friday, March 25, 2011

The tragedy of South African cricket

I think I've solved the mystery behind South Africa not doing well in big tournaments.
They are in the top two test and ODI squads for most part of the year. But in a big tournament, they have this ability to fuck things up for themselves.
1992, they played great cricket a year after they returned from exile.Weather played spoilsport there and they couldn't achieve a dream
In 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2011, they entered as tournament favourites. 1996, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals - their first loss in that tournament - thanks to a brilliant knock by Brian Lara.
We all know what happened in 1999.
In 2003, they hosted the World Cup. A brilliant knock by Stephen Fleming ended their dream.
In 2007, nobody really considered them. A loss to Bangladesh and people wrote them off. But then, they came back with some brilliant performances and suddenly they were favourites to beat Australia in the semi-finals. They got buggered in that game.
2011: They meet New Zealand in Dhaka. This New Zealand side entered the World Cup with a whitewash in Bangladesh and India, a home series loss to Pakistan and a drubbing by Australia and Sri Lanka. Everyone wrote them off and said that South Africa would walkover them.
However, that was not to be. And suddenly, New Zealand is in more semi-finals than there have been World Cups. How is that for coincidence?
Moral of the story: If you want South Africa to win a big tournament and put your money on them, do not tell anyone that you have. Also, the media should write South Africa off in every game even if they chase 400, saying that, South Africa may have chased 400, but what's the point? They always lose knockouts.
And that unfortunately has been the tragedy of South African cricket

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