2015 Cricket World Cup: Donald - We will always be 'chokers' until we win a title

The Proteas are again among the favourites to win the World Cup

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The Independent Online

Bowling coach Allan Donald has admitted South Africa will not lose their “chokers” tag until they win a major tournament.

The Proteas are again among the favourites to win the World Cup, but again any discussion about their prospects inevitably returns to their inability to win in the latter stages. They have never reached a World Cup final and have won just one match in the knockout stages since their famous exit to Australia in 1999.

“That tag will never go away,” said Donald, who was the man run out when the Proteas tied that Edgbaston semi-final to exit the tournament. “That will never go away until we win an ICC event. We’ve got to come out and prove it.”

South Africa open their campaign against Zimbabwe at Seddon Park in Hamilton tomorrow. The focus of attention leading up to the game has centred on the fitness of spearhead Dale Steyn after he was rested for South Africa’s final warm-up match against New Zealand. Steyn joined a four-hour training session yesterday and Donald confirmed he would be fit to play.

“Everyone is fine,” he said. “We rested Dale in the previous match to make sure he  is 110 per cent but everyone is fine.”


With a fully fit squad, the Proteas have set about knuckling down in training after they were soundly beaten by the Kiwis in Christchurch to round out their preparations. “We got on the bus in Christchurch after the New Zealand game, and A B [de Villiers] just said: ‘It’s time to lock in’,” Donald added.  “Everyone’s excited. Even arriving here for this training session, we know it’s right on the doorstep. We’re very eager to get on with it.”

South Africa have lost to Zimbabwe just twice in 37 one-day internationals, but their cross-border rivals proved they can upset the best when they defeated Australia for the first time in 31 years last August. South Africa saw the shock result first-hand – they were the third team in the Harare Tri-series.

Zimbabwe completed their World Cup preparations with a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Tomorrow at the World Cup

South Africa v Zimbabwe

Tomorrow, 1am GMT.

Pool B, Hamilton; Sky Sports 2

Weather Warm and sunny with patchy cloud. Max temp: 26C

South Africa (probable) AB de Villiers (capt), HM Amla, KJ Abbott, Q de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, F du Plessis, Imran Tahir, M Morkel, WD Parnell, VD Philander, DW Steyn

Zimbabwe (probable) E Chigumbura (capt), RW Chakabva (wk), CJ Chibhabha, CR Ervine, T Kamungozi, H Masakadza, SF Mire, T Mupariwa, Sikandar Raza, BRM Taylor, SC Williams

Umpires R Tucker (Aus) & R Martinesz (SL)

India v Pakistan

Tomorrow, 3.30am GMT

Pool B, Adelaide; Sky Sports 2

Weather Warm and overcast. Max temp: 35C

India (probable) MS Dhoni (capt/wk), R Ashwin, S Dhawan, RA Jadeja, V Kohli, AR Patel, AM Rahane, SK Raina, AT Rayudu, MM Sharma, RG Sharma

Pakistan (probable) Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Nasir Jamshed, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal (wk), Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan

Umpires R Kettleborough (Eng) & I Gould (Eng)

Ireland v West Indies

Tomorrow, 10pm GMT

Pool B, Nelson; Sky Sports 2

Weather Warm and sunny with patchy cloud. Max temp: 24C

Ireland (probable) WTS Porterfield (capt), A Balbirnie, AR Cusack, EC Joyce, AR McBrine, JF Mooney, KJ O’Brien, NJ O’Brien (wk), MC Sorensen, PR Stirling, GC Wilson

West Indies (probable) JO Holder (capt), CH Gayle, MN Samuels, DM Bravo, JL Carter, D Ramdin (wk), KAJ Roach, AD Russell, DJG Sammy, LMP Simmons, DR Smith

Umpires R Illingworth (Eng) & B Oxenford (Aus)