CWC ’99 haunts Zulu weekly

2011-11-10 10:26

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.”


  • Johann - 2011-11-10 10:49

    It was heart-stoppingly sad at the time but now water under the bridge. The 2003 exit against New Zeeland at Wanderers was equally disappointing and that was somebody else's mistake. Zulu did give us many other memorable memories hey!!

      Mark - 2011-11-10 11:03

      Totally Agree

      Dhirshan - 2011-11-10 11:44

      worst day of my life that one! and 92, 96 ,03, 07, 11 too lol. and boks recent loss too.

  • Michael - 2011-11-10 11:02

    2 most disappointing days of my life - CWC '99 (cant watch those highlights without crinkjing) and 2007 Super 14 Final (cheated by the bulls and ref in the past 3 mins)

  • stuart.bigmore - 2011-11-10 11:14

    Lance your gave us so much pleasure watching you bat and you pulled us out of the crap on more than one occassion dont beat yourself up about it, for me you were the best, if the rest of the team had batted as they were supossed to, and not left everything for the bowlers to finish it would never have happened, it wasnt to be, and definatley not your fault at all.

      Stephen - 2011-11-10 11:50

      Actually if Herchelle had not dropped Steve Waugh in the previous game and we won it then this would not have mattered. So there were many other reasons and I know I cursed and beat the grass with my head afterward! But I always say Lance was one of the best. I recall him hitting Shaoib Achtar for 6 off a 150 km/h ball like it was nothing! But it will take a moment of brilliance from someone else in the current setup to wipe that memory away when we do win that WC - and we will!!

  • benjaminvanstaden - 2011-11-10 11:20

    He did the job in almost all the other games in that WC. Somebody else should also have put up their hand. He did all he could. Awesome cricket player

  • Drikus - 2011-11-10 11:31

    Klusener is still one of the all time best!!! My hero while i was growing up!!! He has done alot for SA Cricket and we cant let one little mistake ruin his career. You Rocked the six's Lance!!!

  • jos.pike - 2011-11-10 11:33

    Mfowethu, you were a hard, honest contributer to the team. You came out on top far more often than not. Thanks for the memories from Club in Eshowe, to Zululand and NCD knocks at Addison Park onto Dolphins and SA.....Hamba kahle Mfowethu

  • calliedj - 2011-11-10 11:40

    If Zulu wasn't at that world cup, we would never have even seen the semis. He played a massive role, and should never feel like he let us down.

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