Durban - Cricket SA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki has called on all South Africans to rally behind the Proteas when they begin their ICC World Cup campaign in India today.
The Proteas face former champions Sri Lanka in their tournament opener at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.
The match gets under way at 10.30am (SA time), and will be televised on pay channel SuperSport and national broadcaster SABC after lengthy negotiations.
“The World Cup is not just another tournament. It’s a tapestry of dreams, endeavours, and the indomitable spirit that defines South African cricket,” Moseki said.
“Let us unite in spirit and voice. Our collective energies can function as the 12th man, supporting our team in every move.”
The Proteas have a chequered history at ICC World Cups, with the national men’s cricket team yet to reach a final. Their best finishes have been four semi-finals back in 1992 (Australia), 1999 (England), 2007 (West Indies) and 2015 (New Zealand).
SkipperTemba Bavuma believes his team’s “resilience” separates his team from their opponents.
“I think all the teams have match winners at their disposal, whether it be batting or bowling. I think for us, the biggest thing is our character. You’ll hear a lot of guys speak about our resilience,” Bavuma told reporters on the eve of the clash against Sri Lanka.
“I think that’s something that really stands for us in a good way. There’s also a willingness or desire from guys to put in the big performances for the team. That’s at least something I felt in the last couple of months.
“That’s something that we will be leaning towards, guys not shying away from those pressure moments, going towards them, and really grabbing the opportunity or the game by the scruff of its neck.”
Moseki also had a special message of well-wishes for Bavuma and his team.
“As you wear the green and gold, understand you’re not alone. South Africa stands with you, cheering every run, and feeling every heartbeat,” he said.
The Independent on Saturday