The Hack: Proteas failure all too familiar

Never again will I invest any emotion into a Proteas campaign at a World Cup.

I was 10 years old when I had my heart broken by our national cricket for the first time. The year was 1999. You all know the outcome of the World Cup in that year. No need to reopen old wounds.

The pain has continued ever since. The last straw was the dismal campaign at the ICC World T20. I have resigned myself to the fact that the South African cricket side will never win a World Cup in my lifetime. And I’m only approaching 28.

Call me unpatriotic. A heathen. I don’t care.

Perhaps I wasn’t quite ready for another disappointing end to a World Cup for South African fans. In last year’s 50-over version we were in it right up until that final over. Just beaten by a better team on the day.

This time around it was different. We were never really in it. I don’t actually think I’ve ever seen a South African cricket side bowl as badly as the Proteas did – barring Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso – in this campaign.

Nothing clicked. On day’s they batted well the bowling was dire. When the bowling was decent the batsmen failed. The writing was on the wall early on.

The worst part is that when I looked at this squad I thought we had a serious chance. A lot was said about luck and things going your way. But let’s be real, how lucky are you going to be when you bowl 20-odd wides in a game?

And don’t get me started on that cringeworthy video the squad made before they departed to India. We were subjected to it at games to a point where the “Fireball” tune got stuck in your head. It was almost sadistic.

The players won’t be pulling on a national jersey for a couple of weeks now. Great. Time away from national duty is just what they need. But how should we feel if those guys going to the Indian Premier League all start firing and finding their best form?

Thankfully I’m taking some time off for the next couple of weeks. I’m off to get hitched and then jet-setting to Thailand for honeymoon. A place where cricket is only a fledgling sport and when locals are asked about it they’re more likely to point you to a bowl of fried crickets rather than a bat and ball.

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