Thursday, February 3, 2011

Team: South Africa National Cricket Team

The South Africa national cricket team, also known as The Proteas (formerly known as The Springboks) are a national cricket team representing South Africa. They are administrated by Cricket South Africa.

South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test and One Day International status. Through the mid-nineties to the present, the Proteas have been labeled as the archetypal chokers in international cricket, especially due to their not winning a Cricket world cup even after being one of the top favorites and their general inability to win the big matches on the big occasions.

As of 29 December 2010, the South African team has played 357 Test matches, winning 125 (35.11%), losing 124 (34.55%) and drawing 108(30.33%) of its games.

As of 3 October 2009, the South African team has played 426 ODI Matches, winning 264 (61.97%), losing 145 (34.04%), drawing 5 (1.17%) and getting a "No Result" in 12 (2.82%) of its games.

South Africa has a record of failing to win major tournaments and is much-maligned because of this. The 1992 Cricket World Cup, for example, featured a rain-affected semi-final played before the introduction of the rain rule. South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when rain intervened. After the delay they were left in the situation of requiring 22 runs from one ball in order to progress. In 1996 they were eliminated in the quarter-finals despite being one of the fancied teams and having qualified first in their group. At the 1999 Cricket World Cup, South Africa played against Australia in the last Super Six match as well as the knock-out semifinal. Australia defeated the Proteas in the Super Six match and recorded a thrilling tie in the semifinal, which was enough to knock the Africans out of the tournament since Australia had previously beaten them (in the match immediately beforehand). It is in the Super Six match that Steve Waugh is reported to have told Herschelle Gibbs "Mate, you just dropped the World Cup" when the latter dropped him en route to a match-winning century, a comment which has been denied by Waugh himself in interviews. The image of the crestfallen South Africans following the run-out of their last batsman Allan Donald while the Australians celebrated in a huddle has become an iconic sporting image.

South Africa hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, but failed to progress beyond the group stage due to a misunderstanding of how many runs they needed to score in a rain-affected run chase. As a result of this, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and was replaced by young batsman Graeme Smith, although Pollock continued to play for the team. Under Smith's leadership, South Africa has achieved some success, although they have been hampered by the retirements of many star players, including fast bowler Allan Donald and one-day specialist Jonty Rhodes. As a result, they had a poor 2004, only winning against the West Indies.

They had a rollercoaster ride that included dominant wins over England, the West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, and a narrow win over Sri Lanka, but devastating losses to Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh that cost them the number one ranking. Then they bowed out in the semifinals with their lowest ever score in a World Cup as Australia bowled them out for 149 and won by 7 wickets. South Africa are regarded by many as the best team never to have won the Cricket World Cup.[citation needed]

They also hold the record of the highest successful run chase and made the highest total (the latter record has been surpassed) in One-Day Internationals (438-9 in 49.5 overs), in an iconic match against Australia on 12 March 2006. This game is considered by many to be the greatest One-Day International ever played.


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