Sunday, March 27, 2011


South Africa lost the third Quarterfinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to New Zealand, one of the massive upsets of this tournament, given the form of the teams involved. However, it's not a surprise or something new to see South Africa falter in a World event just when they get towards it business end.

The word "Choke" was brought out and thrown around by almost everyone, myself included. For South African fans, it was a heartbreak that they may not be able to describe properly right now. For the neutral, it was a little sad as well as a little bemusing - sad to see arguably the best balanced side of the tournament knocked out this early when they were clearly in a winning position for most of the match and bemusing because it's happened once too often now.

However, like him or not, most people's hearts went out to Graeme Smith when he came out for the post-match presentation - for the last time as the captain of South Africa's ODI team. If any look on a face could spell 'dejected', Smith's was it! Given captaincy at a young age of 22, he's carried that responsibility for a good 8 years and has played his role in scripting some of South African cricket's finest moments ever.

Yet, despite the clear anguish writ large upon his face, some journalists did not feel any pity for him. I saw the video of the post-match press conference of Graeme Smith. Its embedded here below for those who have not seen it. Listen to the question asked from the point 2:18 onwards, and judge for yourself.

Honestly, I can appreciate the fact that it is a journalist's job to ask tough questions at such places and put the subject in a tight spot. To be fair, it was not as if Graeme Smith would not have been expecting such a question. It was bound to come. But there is a way to go about it... there is something called tact. That reporter lacked it and I pity Graeme Smith for having been reminded of his team's 'choke' in such a sorry way.

I really do hope that what Graeme Smith did say comes true - that one day, it would be good to see South Africa win a World Cup!


tracerbullet007 said...

Seriously, if I was Smith, I would have been tempted to punch the journo...I really admire his restraint, even though one could sense the frustration in his reply

Unknown said...

@tracerbullet007, I think even Smith was tempted to punch that journo before thinking the better of it.

What amazes me is that none of them congratulated him for a wonderful career as the captain of South Africa's ODI team for 8 years. The World Cup may have been gone, but that does not trivialise what South Africa achieved under him over these years!

Poshin_david said...

Imagine Smith actually punching the journalist! He would have been made a sore loser and we'd probably not feel for him....

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that SA didn't go further and it's upsetting when the word "chokers" gets thrown all over the place, but then some cricket "fans" are like that.

I really like Smith and it's always sad when a great captain steps down. It's like the end of an era.

Govind Raj said...

That 2:18 guy has to be an Indian. The accent does say so.

Only Indian scribes are capable of this kind of talk.

My heart went out to this guy too. Tomorrow if India lose to Pakistan or the final, Dhoni will have to be ready to face these questions too.

Why is it India always fails at ICC events ?


Why is it that India 'ALWAYS' fail to win the finals ?

Dhoni, be ready with your words !

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

It's a harsh world at the top of international cricket, the journo's certainly play there part in making it tough too.

Smith is a tough guy and despite not winning the world cup, I wouldn't call him a loser, certainly not too his face.

Maybe his team is, but Smith isn't.

Yes, they have fluffed things in a critical match again, and the 'word' usually associated with SA losses has resurfaced again, as it seems to, every time they lose a game of cricket these days.

They can't ----- everytime, sometimes they must just get beat fair and square.

That said, they should have beaten New Zealand. I wasn't convinced they would win the tournament, but I thought they would lose to - shall we say - more testing oppostion.

But Smith has been a decent captain and leader of men.

He was thrust into a massive job at an early age, and despite getting under a lot of peoples skin early on in his career, he turned out to be a pretty good and well respected captain.

He deserves a lot of respect and credit for what he had done.