London - The Proteas coaching staff must take collective responsibility for South Africa's failed campaign at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
That is the view of assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa, who was speaking to media on Wednesday ahead of Friday's clash against Sri Lanka in Durham.
It is a crucial clash for the islanders, who are still very much in the running for a semi-final spot, but it is a dead-rubber for the Proteas following what has been their worst ever performance at a World Cup.
One win from seven fixtures has left the South Africans reeling in the competition, with only Afghanistan below them on the log.
Their poor showing is extremely difficult to explain given the quality the South Africans have in their ranks, but what it has done is paint a picture of uncertain times ahead for the national side.
Skipper Faf du Plessis will be 35 at the end of the World Cup and his future as captain beyond the competition is not clear, while coach Ottis Gibson's contract with Cricket South Africa (CSA) expires at the end of September.
If Gibson goes, then the future of his entire backroom staff will also come under the spotlight.
Maketa, batting coach Dale Benkenstein, spin bowling coach Claude Henderson and fielding coach Justin Ontong will all have to wait and see what the plans for them are, but Maketa says that anything that the team as a collective must now accept any decisions that come their way.
"That's our profession. We all have to take collective responsibility and if heads do roll then we can say that we've given it out best shot," he said.
"We came here to win and it hasn't happened, so we are strong enough to make sure that we leave CSA stronger than we found it. It may not look like it now, but we are confident that the work that has been done has contributed to something.
"The reflection has been tough on all of us and we haven't performed as well as we would have liked. We have to suffer the consequences of that and we are willing to take responsibility.
"Hopefully we will be judged on more than what we have done here in a one-off competition."
Maketa added that the next two matches of the World Cup, against Sri Lanka and then Australia in Manchester on July 6, were still important for the Proteas.
"We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to this tournament to go out and win the last two games," he said.
"We've dedicated so much in the past two years to come here and win this tournament and we can't let two weeks' work reflect badly on us.
"As much as we're playing for millions of people back home, we need to walk away from this World Cup showing why we were here."
@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...