Fare well Proteas – no really

The fans gathering to send off the Proteas
The fans gathering to send off the Proteas
The Cricket World cup is upon us and the South African team, our Proteas, are ready to get on a plane tonight. I am lucky enough to work in Melrose Arch, where their final farewell is being hosted. A lot of people took off work to say good bye to our national team. A team we are proud of – most of the time.

I like cricket. I like the sentiment, I know the rules, I like it’s relaxed, yet highly technical and strategic way. I love that all you need is a bit of space, a longish flat surface a bat and a ball to get a game together. A street and some neighbourhood friends can make for a great game. The barrier to entry is very low so all ages and all genders can play in the same game. It really does bring people together. It’s a cool sport. I also love our national team. The Proteas consist of highly skilled, often best in the world, players. They beat out the opposition in great fashion – most of the time.

And therein lies the problem, for all the love I have the Proteas, I’m always waiting for them to disappoint me. Some way or another they are going to lose a winning streak. Or bat like Trojans and then field like mice. For a group of “best in the world” people they get if wrong more often than seems conceivable, year after year.

I know that our rugby team, the Springboks, also lose. They’ve actually not been that great lately, but they have got two world cup victories under their belt. I watched both victories, I can recall in precise detail what those victories looked like and how I felt. The Proteas have not delivered this to me. Even Bafana Bafana who really have performance issues have pulled one great victory at the CAF Cup.

It’s a weird place to be for our cricket team. It must be hard on them. The nation really does like them, some people don’t miss a match, will set aside entire weekends to watch tests, and yet, somehow, we don’t know if they can pull of a world cup victory.

So, dear Proteas, farewell on your journey and then please fare extra well at the tournament and bring home some silverware

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