Cricket World gCup

The Proteas lost to Australia in another Cricket World Cup semi-final. Image: CSA

Proteas: Did they choke … again? Coach offers his answer!

The Proteas once again have to contend with the ‘chokers’ tag after falling to an agonising defeat against Australia on Thursday.

Cricket World gCup

The Proteas lost to Australia in another Cricket World Cup semi-final. Image: CSA

The Proteas came into Thursday’s World Cup semi-final as marginal favourites against an Australian team that they had defeated comfortably in the pool stages.

Yet, in a fashion that has become far too familiar, the Proteas got off to the worst possible start in a knockout game – with the team having chosen to bat first before being reduced to 24-4.

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All too familiar tale of woe for Proteas

From there, the Proteas could never fully recover, and ultimately suffered another heartbreaking defeat.

So, did they choke – again – when it mattered most?

“I guess you need to define what a choke is,” coach Rob Walter commented. “For me, a choke is losing a game that you’re in a position to win,.

“In this instance, we were behind the eight ball right from the word go, and we actually fought our way back into contention and put up a score that gave us a chance.

“The Australians, in turn, got off to a flyer and we fought and we put ourselves back into the game. Of course, we were 30 runs or 40 runs short, but still having them seven down and taking into account a couple of close calls like catches bouncing just short, a little inside edge that could have been taken, you know, that suggests to me there were no signs remotely close to a choke.

“It’s a serious contest between two good teams, number-two and number-three in the tournament.”

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In other news

The 2027 Cricket World Cup will be the 14th edition of the tournament and will be co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

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It is scheduled to be played in South AfricaZimbabwe and Namibia in October and November 2027.

Exact dates and venues will be confirmed closer to the start.

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This will be the second time that South Africa and Zimbabwe will have co-hosted the tournament, after the 2003 edition, while Namibia will host it for the first time.

The tournament will expand to 14 teams (from the current 10) and will have the same format that was used during the 2003 edition.