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