T20 World Cup – Will South Africa Break the Jinx?

For instance, the 1992 World Cup was an almost sure win but its result was marred by rain. Those were the days when the Duckworth-Lewis method was not yet introduced to the cricketing world. They lost to Australia due to the absurd situation where they had to score 22 runs from just 1 ball. Similarly, in the 1999 World Cup, South Africa and Australia were pitched against one another once in the Super Six match and another time in the semi-final. Both times South Africa was unable to record a victory as they lost the Super Six match and the semi-final was an exciting tie with the Aussies getting the best of the game. This way the South African team could not make it into the finals.

The 2003 World Cup was hosted by South Africa but they couldn’t make it any farther than the group stage because of confusion in figuring out the number of runs they had to make in order to chase the rival team’s score. Shaun Pollock, the then captain of the team, resigned because of the mishap and Graeme Smith replaced him. However, Pollock continued playing for his team. Smith’s captaincy has been able to make the team perform somewhat better than earlier. To give them their due, some of the main players of the team retired, such as, Allan Donald and Jonty Rhodes. Hanse Cronje also met with an untimely and unfortunate end both in his career and life. 2004 was not such a great year as they lost every tournament except one against West Indies.

2007 saw the Proteas become the No. 1 ranked team but they did not put up a very impressive show in the 2007 World Cup. It was an event full of ups and downs for them. They had brilliant wins over England, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, as well as a marginal win over Sri Lanka. Then they went downhill by losing in a terrible fashion to Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. This made them fall down from the top of the cricket rating. This was not all. They also lost to Australia in the semi-finals with the lowest ever score they had ever managed in the World Cup. They were all bowled out for 149.

Despite all these pitfalls, South Africa has once again emerged as the top ranking team in one day cricket. They stand at number 5 in the test cricket ratings. This is the result of a large number of wins that they recorded from January to November 2005. The South African team has also had the privilege of being the team with the longest successful run chase and the second highest total scored by a team in a 1-day International match which they played against Australia in 2006.

In the first ICC T20 World Cup in which South Africa played host, they lost to India in the last match of the Super 8s and thus could not progress any further. What is left to see is whether they will be able to get rid of this jinx which they have been suffering from since long in winning major events. The 2009 T20 World Cup taking place in England will be a test of their strength as a team and their ability to face challenges. With Shaun Pollock gone, all eyes will be on newcomers Dale Styen, Albie Morkel and Morne Morkel. Do keep track of the progress of the South African team if you are a cricket fan. If you cannot go to watch the matches or even see them on TV due to screening problems. Keep yourself up to date by checking live scores online.