Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: South Africa's seven other tournament exits since 1992

A look at how the Proteas have dropped the ball in World Cup after Cricket World Cup since their first appearance in 1992

On Sunday, South Africa's Cricket World Cup title hopes came to an end at the eighth time of asking.

Defeat to Pakistan at Lord's meant they cannot mathematically qualify for the semi-finals from the 10-team round-robin phase. This also translated to yet another missed opportunity to win cricket's showpiece event since first appearing in it 27 years ago.

The Proteas played their first World Cup in 1992 after being re-inducted into the cricket community two years earlier (they spent nearly three decades in the sporting wilderness as punishment for the crimes of the now-defunct Apartheid regime).

Since then, two themes have remained constant as far as the team's fortunes are concerned, one being consistency and the other being bad luck. They made it to the semi-finals in 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015. They would almost certainly have reached the last four in 1996 if not for a brilliant century from Brian Lara in the quarters.

But, you make your own luck in tournaments such as these, and let's be honest, South Africa have not helped their own cause in at least two editions: in 1999, when they lost to Australia twice on the bounce despite having no right to do so, and in 2003, when they got their Duckworth/Lewis calculation wrong costing them a place in the knockouts.

The one word often used to describe the South African cricketers, perhaps fairly, is "chokers". A choker is defined as "a sports player who fails to perform at a crucial point as a result of nervousness".

Granted, the Proteas were not fancied to win the 2019 World Cup even before the tournament got under way. There were also mitigating circumstances, such as injuries to fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi. But they have always had enough talent to garner expectations from their supporters, and it is fair to say they underperformed by even their current standards (read not great).

Jog your memory on previous South African anticlimaxes at the World Cup by scrolling through the photo gallery above. To move on to the next position, click the arrows on the photo, or if using a mobile device simply swipe.

Updated: June 23, 2019 09:48 PM

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