Cape Town - Proteas selection convenor Linda Zondi called Reeza Hendricks straight after the batsman heard news of his World Cup omission last week.
The only selection headache heading for Zondi and his selection panel centred around how to fit Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram and Hendricks into two available slots.
In the end, it was the 29-year-old Hendricks who missed out with the selectors opting for Amla's pedigree and experience and Markram's red-hot form.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Hendricks, who had been well placed in the World Cup race for almost all of the build-up to the squad announcement.
While he always seemed to come up with an encouraging score when he needed one, Hendricks simply didn't score consistently enough.
"I phoned Reeza after the announcement ... he was very disappointed," Zondi, who will step down as convenor at the end of the World Cup, told Sport24 on Wednesday.
"I explained our thought process to him. I had to explain how we came to our decision. I told him that it is not the end and he is still going to play for South Africa for another few more years."
Zondi acknowledged that while statistics were not everything in selection, the fact Hendricks had averaged just 25.07 in 14 ODIs since the Zimbabwe series in late 2018 had contributed to the decision.
"Selection is not only about stats, but you also need to be factual when it comes to stats," Zondi said.
"It was a tough one. We had to decide between him and Markram and see where they were.
"When you look at the collective from Zimbabwe right through, Reeza averaged 25 and Markram averaged 41.
"It was a collective decision. We sent Markram back to his franchise and he averaged 108.
"He (Hendricks) was sad, but at the end of the day he understood and he wished the side well."
South Africa's first match of the World Cup is against hosts England at The Oval on May 30.
South Africa's 2019 Cricket World Cup squad:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen