The Standard Bank Proteas landed in SA this morning fresh from their victory against Australia in their final group match at the global cricket tournament currently taking place in the UK.
Although suffering a premature exit from the tournament, the men in green and gold showed passion and courage in their last two games against Sri Lanka and Australia respectively ensuring they finished strong to restore pride to their campaign.
“Our confidence took a hit after losing against Bangladesh and it took us long to recover”, said Standard Bank Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson. He further went on to say that He was extremely proud of how his team finished after a rocky start to the tournament.
“For us to stand up and deliver that kind of performance against Australia, a team who had already qualified for the semi-finals says plenty about the character we showed as a team. We could have thrown in the towel quite easily instead we fought until the end”, said the former West Indies fast bowler.
Quizzed about his future, Gibson answered questions about rumours about him being linked to various coaching jobs around the world in particular the England national team. “ It means I’m not doing such a bad job after all if so many people are interested,” he joked.
Captain Faf du Plessis praised the efforts of his team in particular the batting department who, despite not deemed the strongest line-up in world cricket, stood up during tough times.
“There were quite a number of decent performances with the bat during the tournament from guys like Rassie, Quinny and myself but with the quality of batters we have, a better approach was needed from us a collective. As the leader of the team, I take full responsibility. My job is to lift the team during dark times and lead as best as I can,’ said du Plessis who scored a match-winning century against Australia.
The Standard Bank Proteas captain acknowledged that South Africans are hurting at this stage but believes that the future of South African cricket is bright.
“The team will most likely go through a few changes with four of five new faces coming into the team in the long term especially looking ahead to the next four ways,” du Plessis added.
From a personal note, du Plessis says he will take time to reflect on his future.
“I will sit and rethink my future and consider over the next while which route I will go. Right now I'm still passionate and motivated. I love captaining the team and I'm hurt as well. Time will heal everything,” he concluded.