“Make our nation proud.” That was the rallying call from President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday in wishing the Proteas all the best for the Cricket World Cup.
South Africa take on England at The Oval in London on Thursday in the opening match of the tournament.
Faf du Plessis’ team are hoping to turn around a history of disappointment at the sport’s ultimate event, having reached the semi-finals on four occasions since 1992.
Du Plessis said on Wednesday that his team are underdogs heading into the opening match.
“We have a very strong and formidable cricket team, and we hope they will continue to fly the South African flag high,” Ramaphosa said.
“On behalf of government and all the people of South Africa, we wish them the best for the World Cup. May they perform to the best of their ability and make our nation proud.”
President Ramaphosa sends best wishes to the Proteas https://t.co/3JFhCJV4mq— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) May 29, 2019
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his team also joined in by extending their well wishes to the Proteas.
“Faf, your team and coach Gibson, we want to wish you guys all the best for your Cricket World Cup. Just do what you do best, and enjoy every single moment. From the Springbok team in South Africa, we are backing you guys,” Kolisi said in a video posted by SA Rugby on their social media platforms.
Hooker Malcolm Marx added, “Just want to wish you guys all the best. We are behind you all the way – go give it horns”, while flank Pieter-Steph du Toit said: “I think all the South Africans are definitely standing all behind you.”
The Proteas-England clash starts at 11.30am SA time on Thursday.