AB: SA unfazed by 'choker' tag

2012-09-16 16:00

Colombo - Power-packed South Africa go into the World Twenty20 starting in Sri Lanka on Tuesday determined not to be ridiculed anymore as the perennial chokers of international cricket.

The Proteas, a formidable side in all forms of the game, have not won a world cup title since their return from an apartheid-induced ban in 1990, after inexplicably crashing at crucial moments in previous tournaments.

But limited-overs captain AB de Villiers warned rivals in the 12-nation tournament that they will see a new, determined South Africa in action who are capable of going all the way.

"I am going to be very honest with you, and I am going to put it up straight up front - we have choked in the past and we know about it," De Villiers told reporters in Colombo.

"We have had some really bad experiences in the past. But I emphasise the word 'past'. We have come with a new look in this team and we have worked hard with our new management team that has given us a lot of energy and new ideas.

"So we will approach this tournament differently and we like to win in pressure situations and we are going to do exactly that. We are prepared and excited to take the field."

South Africa failed to make the final of the 1999 World Cup in England when they tied with Australia despite needing just one run to win off the last four deliveries.

During the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against India in Colombo in 2002, South Africa collapsed from a comfortable 192-1 to lose by 10 runs after needing just 70 more from the last 14 overs. SA's 1998 Champions Trophy win is their only major triumph.

Last year, Graeme Smith's men came through easily in the group stages of the World Cup before losing to New Zealand in the quarter-finals in Dhaka following a dramatic collapse.

South Africa's new team management includes coach Gary Kirsten, who made a name for himself by coaching India to World Cup success last year.

De Villiers believes the World Twenty20 is a wide open tournament where the team that handles pressure better than the others will win.

"There are a lot of favourites, a lot of good teams and plenty of talent around," said the South African captain.

"When the game is up for the taking, it's up to the 11 guys there to take it away from the opposition. To handle pressure will be important."

The Proteas, drawn with hosts Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Group C of the preliminary league, open their campaign against their African neighbours in Hambantota on Thursday.


  • tertius.devereaux - 2012-09-16 15:49

    Nee jule is ni meer chokers ni...stormers/wp is hahahahaha!

      blackops64 - 2012-09-16 16:01

      is jy altyd so dom

  • blackops64 - 2012-09-16 15:49

    lets do it boys, lets crush every side and not by a few balls, crush the living hell out of all of them, from warm ups to final

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-09-16 15:56

    South Africa has formidable strength and balance in our team with Hashim Amla and skipper AB de Villiers our top class batmen,pace bowlers Steyn,Morkel,Tsotsobe and Robin Petersen the spinner who does his part very admirably. Just get rid of the "deadwood" in the Protea squad and we'll get past the knockout stages and perhaps all the way into the Final.

      blackops64 - 2012-09-16 16:00

      if big vern was there, the contest would be so one sided it would be laughable

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-09-16 20:10

    I'm SO looking forward to this competition. Kannieblerriewaggie! Good luck guys - break a leg. As long as it's not your own, of course...

  • Granville Paulse - 2012-09-16 20:48

    Fresh start AB. We have a few match winners this time round. players that play without fear!

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-09-16 22:13

    This is a very open tournament. I would not want to call it. England and Windies have good all-round squads. Sri Lanka are at home which is an advantage. India just beat the hosts this weekend. Pakistan always rise above expectation and the form book in big tournaments. Australia can never be counted out. SA have been very consistent of late. I do not think that it would necessarily be a disgrace to not make the finals, as long as we do not throw away good positions in games as we have done in the past.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-09-17 00:02

      New Zealand just beat India in India. You could put all the names in a hat and draw one out. That would be as accurate as any pre-tournament predictions.

  • tim.kilpin - 2012-09-17 09:09

    Our first game is going to set the tone and will be the benchmark for mojo. Nothing short of a resounding victory will be accpted

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