Vantage point

Monday, March 03, 2003


In 1992, they cribbed because the rain caused their exit from the World Cup.
In 1996, they cribbed because a brilliant century by Lara caused their exit from the World Cup.
In 1999, they cribbed because a tie kept them out of the World Cup.

What about 2003?

Rain, Lara and a tie, all combined to keep them out of the World Cup!!!!!!!

Farewell, South Africa. Can't really bring myself to feel sorry for them, because they have brought it upon themselves. Firstly, they are not as good a side, but are vastly overrated. Their bowling is barely passable, and their batting crumbles under pressure (remember how they caved in to India during the ICC Trophy last year?). They have lost to New Zealand by a thumping margin anyway, and since their exit means an entry for New Zealand, it does not seem too unfair. They had already lost to West Indies in the Cup's opening game because of a blitzing century by Brian Lara.

In fact those who cry for South Africa now will do so under the assumption that they could have got 40 off 30 balls. Boucher is at fault because he took that silly run and run Pollock out. Had there been 5 wickets down instead of six, the Duckworth-Lewis calculations would have worked out in South Africa's favour. Had Klusener, who came in with the asking rate already about 7 an over, not taken 8 balls for his solitary run, they would have been through. But for 7 balls, he gave tutorials on how to just stop the ball.

So much for South Africa being the 2nd favourites.

Can you grasp the irony of the situation? The World Cup, co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya had been generally talked of as the World Cup in South Africa, rather than Africa. Now of the three African hosts, it is Kenya who are through to the Super Six and the Proteas are out. If Zimbabwe beats Pakistan tomorrow (very likely, since the Pakistanis have been squabbling amongst themselves), they will make it too. So we might have a situation where all the hosts, but the one which hogged all the media limelight, end up in the Super Six.

While all that South Africans will do, besides extending their hospitality to the Super Six, is follow the same old routine of "What if"s "Only if"s and "Had he"s.