Donald hopeful Proteas can shed 'chokers' tag

2019-02-01 08:54
Allan Donald
Allan Donald (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former fast bowler Allan Donald is hopeful that the Proteas can break their Cricket World Cup duck in England this year.

In seven previous attempts, the Proteas never won the Cricket World Cup but Donald is confident about the team's chances in 2019.

"Hopefully this group of players will make us proud. There is no doubt that this Proteas side is a class outfit and are well led by Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson," Donald told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.

Due to South Africa's lack of success in ICC-sanctioned events, the term 'chokers' has often been bestowed upon them.

Regarding this label, Donald added: "The term 'choking' will never disappear unless we win an ICC-sanctioned event. I believe that winning a World Cup will put it to rest for good. I think it’s just a matter of finding that magic confidence that everyone is looking for and riding the wave of momentum."

Donald said the Proteas should target the opening game against hosts England on May 30 as a springboard for the remainder of the tournament.

"What a start it would be to beat England at The Oval in the opening match of the tournament. If South Africa put a dent in England first up, they would be well on their way. Setting up the momentum to go on a deep run in the tournament is crucial. You can't go into a World Cup with ifs and buts. You have to trust everyone and buy into what the coach and captain want..."

Donald also recalled the 1999 tournament in England when the Proteas came oh-so-close against Australia in the semi-finals, before a mix-up between him and Lance Klusener ended in a run-out and elimination.

"This year marks 20 years since the 1999 World Cup in the UK. As a side we were so settled and had a huge leadership group. We were the number one side in the world and were favourites to win the World Cup. Our captain Hansie Cronje brought that right into our faces with some newspaper clippings. The intention was to play like favourites and we won our first five fixtures in a very difficult pool.

"My final memory of the 1999 World Cup isn’t something I wanted to be remembered for. It (the infamous semi-final run-out) was one of the biggest cock-ups in world cricket ever. Unfortunately, destiny wasn’t on our side but maybe this time around we go to England and play like the team we were back in those days. My wish is that this South African side will find a united form that will blow teams out of the water. It will be pleasing if the Proteas can get that right."

Read more on:    proteas  |  cwc 2019  |  allan donald  |  cricket


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