Proteas

AB: Proteas not far away from ICC trophy

2017-04-07 10:29
AB de Villiers (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Proteas ODI skipper AB de Villiers believes the team is not far away from securing a long-awaited ICC trophy.

De Villiers spoke to the press on Thursday at the launch of his new mobile application, AB17, in Bangalore.

The Proteas have failed to win an ICC event since their 1998 victory in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the inaugural ICC Champions Trophy, which was then known as the ICC Knock-Out.

In a recent column, former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith wrote that being labelled as 'chokers' proved to be an "unfortunate reality" for the world-class cricket team.

However, De Villiers feels the Proteas are ready and mentally prepared to obtain an ICC title.

"I don't think it's ever been difficult for us to deal with. Maybe Graeme (Smith) found it difficult when he was playing," said De Villiers, as quoted by The Hindu.

"I see it as a challenge and an opportunity to do something special. Unfortunately we haven't won a tournament yet, but we get another chance in 2017 and again in 2019.

"I truly believe that we're not far away. Until we cross that hurdle, that question will always come up. I feel our team spirit and our culture is exceptionally strong, which is the kind of thing you need when you carry a 'tag' like that."

The focus now shifts to the ICC Champions Trophy taking place in England in June, where De Villiers hopes to lead his team to glory.

The ICC Champions Trophy will run from June 1-18 with the Proteas seeded third in Group B alongside India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Proteas' Champions Trophy event schedule:

Saturday, June 3 - Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval

Wednesday, June 7 - Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston

Sunday, June 11 - India v South Africa, The Oval

Wednesday, June 14 - First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff

Thursday, June15 - Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston

Sunday, June 18 - Final, The Oval

Monday, June 19 - Reserve day

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket
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