CWC ’99 haunts Zulu weekly

2011-11-10 10:26
Lance Klusener (Gallo)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – More than 12 years on, former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener still thinks about the fateful World Cup 1999 semi-final mix-up with Allan Donald at Edgbaston “once a week”.

The often reserved Klusener produces probably his most candid recollection of the tied match with Australia – though the old enemy advanced to the final – in a new book available on Thursday.

Written by well-known broadcaster and writer Neil Manthorp, “The Proteas: 20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches 1991-2011” (Mercury publishers) overwhelmingly features triumphant moments in the national team’s two decades of post-isolation activity.

But the Birmingham nail-biter, where Donald was run out in a cruelly ill-timed misunderstanding with senior partner Klusener one run short of a target of 214, could hardly be ignored.

And Klusener, now involved in television commentary and an otherwise standout performer at that World Cup, says in the book: “It was my job to get us over the line, not Allan’s.

“I’ve asked the questions a thousand times, if not a million. Why did we run? Why didn’t I wait for the next ball? So many ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’.

“I still think about it once a week. But that’s sport, isn’t it? What happened, happened. It’s gone. I was impatient. I just wanted to get it over and done.

“If I’d waited to the last two balls (potentially remaining of the innings), maybe they would have been perfect yorkers, who knows?

“It’s become a part of me and who I am. I’ll be asked about it for the rest of my life and I’ll always have to say I’m sorry.”


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