This year’s dreary efforts, in a tournament that has caused heartache and anger since South Africa first played in one 27 years ago, are the result of a collective failure in South African cricket.
It started with the administrators at Cricket South Africa, was worsened by the selectors, and became entwined in a confused mess of a strategy by captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson.
Talk of there being an inquiry into this failure is somewhat ironic. How will CSA investigate itself? That organisation has lurched from one disaster to another in the last few years, and is trying to save itself from a financial meltdown over forecast losses of at least R654 million.
Despite reports from independent advisory panels, CSA forged ahead with a restructuring of the local game that had no input from the country’s players. Now the federation has been forced into court, and in such a process the administrative shortcomings will be highlighted. Many will point to that being good for how cricket is run in this country. The establishment of a T20 league has been shambolic. It left CSA in this financial hole, making the organisation desperate for a broadcast deal to assist in alleviating some of that pressure.