Cricket South Africa remains upbeat on team prospects

June 19th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, June 19 (IANS) Fans and critics here have slammed the South African cricket team for being unable to sustain their efforts and crashing out in the semi-final of the Twenty20 World Championships in Britain, but the head of Cricket South Africa (CSA) remains upbeat about their performance.

“It is most disappointing that the Proteas were knocked out of the ICC Twenty-20 World Championships at the semi-final stage. But this is not the end of the world,” CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said in a statement.

The South Africans lost to Pakistan at Trent Bridge Thursday in the semi-final.

“We must remember that the Proteas have set a world record of seven consecutive T20 international victories. They are also number one in the world in the 50-over cricket, and they have just completed their best-ever season in Test cricket,” Majola added.

“These formidable achievements will stand them in good stead as they move on to the meet the next challenges. CSA has every faith in them to continue to be rated as one of the world’s best cricket teams in all forms of the game.

Majola also lauded Pakistan for their achievement in the face of great adversity.

“All plaudits must go to Pakistan cricket in reaching the finals, having pulled itself off the floor after the traumatic political events that have struck their country so hard in recent times. We wish them all the luck in the future.”

Fans and critics here are now calling for the South African squad not to rest on the laurels of their earlier successes this year, but to start strategising as the country prepares to host the ICC Champions Trophy in September. The tournament will see the world’s top eight teams competing.

As they return home, the South Africans will prepare to be honoured at a star-studded gala dinner in Johannesburg June 30 as CSA celebrates its most successful year ever.

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