Proteas World Cup defeat

Australia hold their nerve to beat South Africa and reach the Cricket World Cup final. Image from Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

CSA ‘proud’ of Proteas’ ‘exceptional skill and spirit’

Cricket South Africa has come to the defence of the Proteas in the wake of their World Cup defeat at the semi-final stage.

Proteas World Cup defeat

Australia hold their nerve to beat South Africa and reach the Cricket World Cup final. Image from Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The Proteas bombed out of the World Cup at the semi-final after suffering an agonising three-wicket defeat to Australia.

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Yet, in a statement released on Friday, CSA said they “remain committed to supporting our team in their continuous pursuit of excellence and looks forward to their future endeavours with optimism and enthusiasm.”

“Although the result was not in our favour, the determination, skill, and spirit displayed by our team throughout the tournament have been exemplary,” a statement continued. “We also extend our congratulations to the Australian cricket team for their victory in the semi-final as well as to India for hosting the event.

“The Proteas performance was commendable, reflecting the exacting standards and competitiveness that epitomise the spirit of international cricket. As we reflect on the tournament, CSA is inspired by the dedication and teamwork shown by the entire team and the support staff. Their journey to the semi-finals has not only been a testament to their talent and hard work but also to their commitment to representing South Africa with honour and pride on the global stage.”

Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe added: “Cricket South Africa is immensely proud of the Proteas’ performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Their journey to the semi-finals, marked by exceptional skill and spirit, sets a strong foundation for our future endeavours, particularly with an eye on the 2027 World Cup. While we didn’t achieve the ultimate victory, the determination and competitiveness shown by our team were truly admirable.”

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Many critics have suggested the Proteas were “chokers” once again.

“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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