SA's Cup plans 'unaltered'

2009-11-25 12:33

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – The Proteas’ planning for the next World Cup in early 2011 has not been thrown into disarray by sub-standard ODI performances in recent weeks.

That is the firm view of coach Mickey Arthur, speaking ahead of the third fixture in the MTN series against England at Newlands on Friday.

South Africa trail 1-0 with one washout, and are under additional pressure because of their disappointing “one win in three” effort at the ICC Champions Trophy in the spring.

But Arthur insists that there is “no major rethinking” despite the outlook for the Subcontinent tournament, ironically, actually appearing to look more bullish from a Proteas perspective almost a year ago.

Instead the national team have slipped two notches to third in the official one-day international rankings.

“I know exactly where we’re going and where our plans are,” Arthur said. “Graeme (Smith) and I are exactly on the same page. We know the personnel we’d like to employ.

“At the end of the day the guys need to get out there and do the (business). By the end of this series it will be clearer whether the players we want to use are the right ones --I’m confident it will be so.

“Down to 19 players, I could virtually give you the 15 for the World Cup. We’ll be basically choosing 15 from 19 so we’re still pretty clear.

“Maybe our executions on flat wickets as bowlers is something we need to (improve) and I’m just a bit worried about our younger batsmen going on to hit big scores when set, but that is something we’ll keep chatting about and they’ve got a year to set that right.

“In my mind I’m still in a fairly good place (World Cup-wise).”

Asked by Sport24 whether the Proteas were simply extending their peculiar habit of warming slowly to domestic summers – whether at ODI or Test level – Arthur said: “We can’t use that an excuse. We’ve got to hit our straps from the outset and that’s something we’ve spoken about a lot and worked on.

“I pretty much know where we’re at as a team and I conveyed that in some strong words on Sunday night. It’s up to the players to see how they react now, and I’m pretty sure they’ll react positively come Friday.”

He said he was pleased gate prospects for the remainder of the five-match ODI series looked rosier than they had been on the Highveld, for the Standard Bank Pro20 internationals and first two ODIs.

Had the players been disappointed by the attendances thus far?

“I think we’ve been too busy focussing on our own game, really. It is disappointing when you don’t play to full houses. We’ve played to full gates around this time, every year.

“I do think there’s been an overkill of cricket up on the Highveld of late. Perhaps if the Pro20 games had come to Durban to Cape Town we’d have had capacity crowds – I would have thought so.

“Remember that the back end of the Indian Premier League was around Johannesburg (last autumn), and they’d no sooner watched a couple of big rugby games on the Highveld (Arthur presumably meant matches like two British and Irish Lions Tests) before the Champions Trophy came too.

“And we’ve played three international fixtures in two weeks at Centurion … two in a week were also scheduled for the Wanderers. I just think it’s been overkill.

“I know Newlands will be sold out, and I’ve already heard that Durban is sold out and Port Elizabeth will be likewise on Sunday. So I think we’ll get back to the crowds we’re used to.”


  • C - 2009-11-25 12:54

    A good start to the preparations for the 2011 WC would be to appoint a decent coach who does his talking on the field, not OFF the field!! Jennings is the best man for the job!!!

  • Fats - 2009-11-25 13:10

    Talk, talk talk - there was a time that I believed in words. Smith and Arthur have won the World Cup and Champions League on the talk sheet. When it comes to performance in those two, is as they say, history. Don't quote me their "track records" show me the silverware!

  • Riaan - 2009-11-25 13:30

    I think its fantastic that we are struggling right now. Normally we dominate most teams between World Cups and then lose choke in the knockout stages. Maybe now that no one will expect us to do well we will at long last get into a final… and THEN choke.

  • Schumi2006 - 2009-11-25 13:39

    We have BRILLIANT cricket players, but it seems like they can't perform as a unit? Look at our players' performances in tournaments such as the IPL/ICL, why can't they perform like that when they play for the Proteas. It's disappointing hey!

  • MICKEY THE CH(J)OKE - 2009-11-25 14:23


  • Just Cricket - 2009-11-25 14:33

    A good start to the preparations for the 2011 WC would be to appoint decent supporters who does their talking at the field, not OFF the field....and hiding behind comments!! You supporters are laughable. You praised the same coach and captain less than a year ago, now you want them crucified....WHATEVER!!!!

  • rob - 2009-11-25 14:37

    they won't even reach the semi's. end of story....

  • Euro - 2009-11-25 15:22

    Can anyone confirm that our boys only started chocking when Smith became the captain? Previous world cups involved DL and the second occasion was the inability by the Protea’s management to understand DL figures. If this is the case then surely we need a captain that is not prone to narcissism that has a negative influence on a team under pressure.

  • Cricket fan - 2009-11-25 15:25


  • C - 2009-11-25 15:51

    @ Just cricket. Your facts will never be able to back you on this one, I have never been a fan of the couch and never will be. I have never praised him nor have I ever called for Smith's head so your generalisations are again unfounded! Because you are gullible and believe everything MA says, don't expect the rest to!

  • NeilA @ cricket naf - 2009-11-25 15:55

    when you can beat the ozzies and the english on their home turf then you ask for people to shut up, until then ,you keep on supporting you cricketer friend who couldnt cut it in the national team, yes the one who wasnt good enough, thats why he is your friend

  • @Just cricket - 2009-11-25 15:55

    To place everybody under 1 umbrella just because you like a guy is frankly, vain, arrogant and well you simply overrate yourself!! You like Mickey, good for you but, for those of us that see through him, well spotted!! Less talk and more action will be truly appreciated!!

  • @Just - 2009-11-25 16:21

    Think 4 a sec big boy, just because you can afford to attend every match does not mean the rest of us can!!

  • \'-_-'/ - 2009-11-25 17:08

    Oh please. I've been waiting since Jonty Rhodes ran out Ul Haq in the 1992 CWC for a trophy, let alone a WC win. Since then I've grown old, gone grey, lost hair, and we still don't have a trophy in our cabinet. I suspect, that in my hopefully next 40 years of life I'll still not witness the hapless Proteas ever winning a CWC. My kids don't watch cricket because the Proteas never win any tournaments, they prefer rugby (because of the Boks success) and European soccer. What makes these clowns think they can win the next CWC? Smith is a hopeless ODI captain, with no trophies in 6 attempts and a brief World number 1 ranking courtesy of a severly underperforming Aussie side. I'm a betting man. I make sure I don't bet on NZ in rugby WC's - its a safe bet, by the same token so is betting against the Proteas. I still believe Jennings is the right coach, but we are in serious need of a new captain. The (lack of trophies) results speak for themselves. Smith has single handedly put the choker tag around the Proteas neck. How nice it must be to be Smith. You never have to perform but you always seem to keep your job. I see a great future after cricket for him, as a politician.

  • @ "the face" - 2009-11-26 09:23

    Well commented!!

  • Just Cricket - 2009-11-26 11:06

    @NeilA. Huh, we beat Australia in the tests (2-1) and ODI's (4-1) in Australia and SA (3-2) and England in the tests in England. So what your point? When SA win the world is great but when we lose the supporters turn into keyboard trolls. Time to grow up!!!

  • To All - 2009-11-26 15:25

    Guys do what I did, I changed my team 9 years ago .SA is going no where exept downhill,sport wise ,country wise name it,I have got nothing against any player or coach,present or past but supporting a team,that has no love for the sport,exept for money.With all sportsmen leaving the country(SA) to play for other countries.You can still support SA but in a different colour.I go crazy when Australia plays, my heart lost SA sport,for good,Sorry for the next comment ,but when you say someone else is arrogant,or making an advertisement that you are no1,then it means one thing you(SA sportsmen) are the arrogant ones cause they dont want the limelight on them(FALSE or TRUE)

  • CAS @ CRIC - 2009-11-26 16:10

    we beat teams when their are rebuilding teams for important tournemants.Comon man we beat everybody during tours but everybody else have won trophies.What diferance does it make if you ranked number one but you havent won anything.

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