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Thank you South Africa for Brilliant 25 years

Thank you South Africa for Brilliant 25 years

Published Date: 14 Nov 2016 | Update : 14 Nov 2016
Politics and sports are completely separate but sometimes they become intertwined. These two became intertwined when South Africa was banned by ICC from playing international cricket in 1970 for the South African government’s policy of racial segregation. The ban on South Africa was lifted 25 years ago when the political atmosphere in South Africa started to change after Nelson Mandela’s release from jail. South Africa made their return to international cricket on 10th November, 1991 against India when they played their 1st ODI match. Since then, South Africa has gifted the cricket fans entertaining batting, lethal fast bowling, agile fielding and so on. They’ve also presented the cricket world with some of the biggest dramatic moments of the game. No cricket lover can ever forget Allan Donald’s run out in the ’99 World Cup Semi Final against Australia or the unfortunate knockout from the group stages because of miscalculating the D/L method target during the 2003 World Cup on their home turf. Former South African captain, Graeme Smith has tried to deny the “choker” allegation. The current captain, De Villiers however doesn’t try to deny this tag. But it isn’t that simple. South Africa’s luck just hasn’t favored them in the ICC tournaments yet. In the last ODI World Cup, they broke the dry streak and defeated Sri Lanka convincingly in the Quarter Finals to attain their first knockout round victory in the World Cup. But they couldn’t beat New Zealand in the semis because of Brendon McCullum and Grant Elliott’s inhumane performances. Moreover, South Africa has won an ICC trophy back in 1998 in Bangladesh. They won the knockout format Wills International Cup which is currently known as ICC Champions Trophy. So, calling the Proteas chokers just because they’ve had a few bad experiences in the knock out round is a little unjustified. In that regard, New Zealand could be called chokers as well. Or the most unpredictable team of world cricket, Pakistan is also a good contender for this tag. The controversy with South Africa doesn’t end here. The infamous match fixing scandal is the darkest chapter of South Africa’s cricketing history. Hansie Cronje persuaded Herschelle Gibbs and others to underperform in the five-match ODI series against India. This dark chapter ended with Hansie Cronje’s mysterious death after being banned for life from international cricket. South Africa’s legacy is much more than these negative sides. They were the top ranking side in both ODIs and Tests in their cricketing history. They’ve been phenomenal abroad. They’ve beaten England and Australia in test series in their home ground back in 2008. South Africa is a country with complex cricketing history. But one thing is for sure, they are a treat to watch. The cricket fans are lucky that they’ve got the chance to see South Africa play.

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