South Africa national cricket team

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South Africa
Logo of the SA National Cricket Team
Logo of the SA National Cricket Team
Test status acquired 1889
First Test match England England at Port Elizabeth, March 1889
Captain Hashim Amla (Test)
AB de Villiers (ODI)
Faf du Plessis (T20I)
Coach Russell Domingo
Current ICC Test, ODI and T20I ranking 1st (Test)
3rd (ODI)
5th (T20I)[1] [2]
All-time best ICC Test, ODI and T20I ranking 1st (Test)
1st (ODI)
1st (T20I) [3]
Test matches
– This year
Last Test match vs West Indies at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, 2-6 January 2015
– This year
As of 1 March 2015

The South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas, represent South Africa in international cricket. They are administered by Cricket South Africa.

South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council, also known as ICC, with Test and One Day International, or ODI, status. As of 18 March 2014, the South African team has played 384 Test matches, winning 140 (36.45%), losing 129 (33.59%) and drawing 114 (29.94%) of its games.[4]

As of 13 November 2013, the South African team has played 498 ODI Matches, winning 307 (61.65%), losing 172 (34.54%), tying 6 (1.20%) and getting a "No Result" in 13 (2.61%) of its games.[5]

On 28 August 2012, South Africa became the second team to be number 1 in all 3 formats of the game.[6] As of 1 March 2015, the South African cricket team is ranked first in Tests, third in ODIs and fifth in T20Is by the ICC.[1]


The South African cricket team toured England in 1947. At Nottingham, Captain Alan Melville and vice-captain, Dudley Nourse achieved a Test match record for a third wicket partnership of 319. The following year Nourse, 38-year-old captain of Natal, was appointed Captain for the 1948 MCC Test matches in South Africa.[7]

In 1970, the ICC voted to suspend South Africa from international cricket indefinitely because of its government's policy of apartheid, a policy which led them to play only against the white nations (England, Australia, New Zealand), and field only white players. This decision excluded players such as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter from partaking in international Test Cricket. It would also cause the emigration of future stars like Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who both played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia, before returning to South Africa.

The South African team at The Oval in August 2008.

The ICC reinstated South Africa as a Test nation in 1991 after the deconstruction of apartheid, and the team played its first sanctioned match since 1970 (and its first ever One-Day International) against India in Calcutta on 10 November 1991. South Africa's first test match after re-admission was against the West Indies in April 1992. The match was played in Bridgetown, Barbados and South Africa lost by 52 runs.

Since South Africa have been reinstated they have achieved mixed success, and hosted the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup in 2003. However, it is widely believed[8] the sides containing the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Gary Kirsten and Hansie Cronje grossly underachieved, gaining a reputation as "chokers", due to them reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup three times, but failing to progress into the finals. In the second part of the 1990s, South Africa had the highest winning percentage in ODIs of any team, but they were knocked out of the 1996 World Cup in the quarter-finals, and then were eliminated on countback after tying their semi-final against Australia in 1999. In 2003, South Africa were one of the favourites but were eliminated by one run in the group stages after they had mistakenly counted the number of runs they needed.

They have also had bad press for failing in vital matches in global tournaments including the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20.[9]

With Donald retiring, Cronje banned for match-fixing and later dead in a plane crash, and Pollock also retiring from international cricket, the team once again changed shape. Graeme Smith was made captain, although following injuries to Smith and Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince deputised as Test captain on 12 July 2006. At the age of 29, he became the first non-white man to captain the once all-white South African cricket team. Due to a racial quota policy, the side was once required to contain black players, unlike the past. However, that policy was rescinded in 2007.[10]

After many of the major players in the Australian side that had dominated the early 2000s had retired, the number one place in the ICC Test Championship was a wide open race, with India and England having short stints as the number one side. South Africa toured England in 2012 for a three Test series with the winner assured of being the world number one. South Africa went on to take the series comfortably 2–0 and claim the top spot in the rankings, a position they have held onto for over a full calendar year.[11]

During this time of dominance in the Test arena, the ODI and T20I performances were far less consistent, as South Africa search for a winning formula ahead of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. A notable ODI series loss to New Zealand at home in January 2013, and a further loss in Sri Lanka highlighted South Africa's recent difficulties. Exits from the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy only served to improve South Africa's reputation as 'chokers' in major tournaments. In the latter years of Smith's career, South Africa split the captaincy in the shorter forms of the game, with the ODI side being led by AB de Villiers and the T20I side by Faf du Plessis. After Smith's retirement, Hashim Amla was appointed captain of the test side, leading his side to victory in his first test in charge, in Galle in Sri Lanka.

Choking reputation[edit]

The South African cricket team has gained a reputation as a frequent choker at global cricket tournaments conducted by the International Cricket Council. Despite being consistently one of the best-performing nations in all forms of cricket since its return from isolation, the Proteas have never progressed beyond the semi-final stage at a World Cup. This reputation was further cemented by the fact that South Africa had never won a game during the knock-out stage of the World Cup; a record which was broken in the quarter-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, when they won against Sri Lanka.[12][13]

This reputation arises largely from two events:

  • In the 1999 Super Six Stage, Herschelle Gibbs dropped eventual centurion Steve Waugh after which Australia went on to win the match,[14] then a shambolic run-out involving Allan Donald and Lance Klusener in the semi-final also against Australia ended South Africa's second innings with the scores tied. Australia progressed on the basis of its superior run rate through the tournament.
  • In the Proteas' final game of Cricket World Cup 2003's group stage (which was effectively a knock-out match, as they had to win to progress to the super six), South Africa tied the rain-affected game against Sri Lanka which they could have won, after they misinterpreted the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule tables shortly before the match was called off.

In addition to surrendering commanding positions in the above matches, South Africa suffered upset losses against the West Indies in 1996 and New Zealand in 2011.[15] South Africa's win in the 1998 ICC KnockOut Trophy remains their only international tournament victory to date. In the 2015 World Cup semi finals against New Zealand, the South Africans batted first, however as a result of a rain interuption the game was halted. New Zealand who were set a Duckworth-Lewis score of 298, chased it down. South Africa lost the game marginally as they missed two run outs and two catches.


ICC Test Championship
Rank Change Team Matches Points Rating
1 Steady  South Africa 31 3839 124
2 Steady  Australia 40 4718 118
3 Steady  England 39 4063 104
4 Steady  Pakistan 30 3090 103
5 Steady  New Zealand 37 3660 99
6 Increase  Sri Lanka 34 3258 96
7 Decrease  India 34 3228 95
8 Steady  West Indies 30 2272 76
9 Steady  Bangladesh 21 676 32
10 Steady  Zimbabwe 13 228 18
Reference: ICC Rankings, 10 January 2015


South Africa has a record of failing to win major tournaments and is much-maligned because of this. The 1992 Cricket World Cup, for example, featured a rain-affected semi-final played before the introduction of the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule. South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when rain intervened. After the delay they were left in the situation of requiring 22 runs from one ball to progress. In 1996 they were eliminated in the quarter-finals despite being one of the fancied teams and having qualified first in their group.

South Africa hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, but failed to progress beyond the group stage due to a misunderstanding of how many runs they needed to score in a rain-affected run chase. As a result of this, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and was replaced by young batsman Graeme Smith, although Pollock continued to play for the team. Under Smith's leadership, South Africa has achieved some success, although they have been hampered by the retirements of many star players, including fast bowler Allan Donald and one-day specialist Jonty Rhodes. As a result, they had a poor 2004, only winning against the West Indies.

In the 2007 World Cup they had a rollercoaster ride that included dominant wins over England, the West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, and a narrow win over Sri Lanka, but devastating losses to Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh that cost them the number one ranking. Then they bowed out in the semifinals with their lowest ever score in a World Cup as Australia bowled them out for 149 and won by 7 wickets.

In the 2011 World Cup, South Africa topped Group B with the distinction of bowling out every side they played within the 50 over limit. In the quarter final they were beaten by New Zealand after suffering a dramatic collapse and losing eight wickets for 68 runs. They also hold the record of the highest successful run chase and made the highest total (the latter record has been surpassed) in One-Day Internationals (438–9 in 49.5 overs), in an iconic match against Australia on 12 March 2006. This game is considered by many to be the greatest One-Day International ever played.

South Africa beat Netherlands by 231 runs in Mohali in Group matches in ICC World Cup 2011, The 231-run win is the fourth largest margin of victory for any team in World Cups and the largest for South Africa in World Cups. It is also the second largest margin of victory for South Africa in ODIs on 3 March 2011.[16] The 87-run stand between JP Duminy and Colin Ingram is the highest for the sixth wicket for South Africa in World Cups. The highest sixth-wicket stand for South Africa in ODIs is the 137 between Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock against Zimbabwe in 1997. The triumph is South Africa's seventh by a fringe of hundred or more runs in World Cups.[17]

Tournament history[edit]

World Cup[edit]

For World Cups from 1975 to 1987 inclusive, South Africa was not an ICC member, and therefore ineligible to compete in the tournament.

  • 1992: Semi-finals – vs England
  • 1996: Quarter-finals – vs West Indies
  • 1999: Semi-finals – vs Australia
  • 2003: First round
  • 2007: Semi-finals – vs Australia
  • 2011: Quarter-finals – vs New Zealand
  • 2015: Semi-finals - vs New Zealand

ICC World Twenty20[edit]

  • 2007: Super 8
  • 2009: Semi-finals - vs Pakistan
  • 2010: Super 8
  • 2012: Super 8
  • 2014: Semi-finals - vs India

ICC Champions Trophy[edit]

  • 1998: Winner
  • 2000: Semi-finals - vs India
  • 2002: Semi-finals - vs India
  • 2004: First round
  • 2006: Semi-finals - vs West Indies
  • 2009: First round
  • 2013: Semi-finals - vs England

Commonwealth Games[edit]


This is a list of every player to have played for South Africa in the last year, and the forms of the game in which they have played.

For the 2014–15 season Cricket South Africa have announced 17 players contracted to the national side from which selectors choose Test, One-Day and Twenty20 International teams.[18] Uncontracted players remain eligible for selection and can be upgraded to a Cricket South Africa contract if they gain regular selection. The players contracted are shown in bold.

Name Age Batting style Bowling style Domestic team Forms
Test Captain and Batsman
Hashim Amla 31 Right-handed Right-arm medium Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I
ODI Captain and Wicket-keeper
AB de Villiers 31 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans Test, ODI, T20I
Twenty 20 Captain and Batsman
Francois du Plessis 30 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Titans Test, ODI, T20I
Jean-Paul Duminy 30 Left-handed Right-arm off break Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I
David Miller 25 Left-handed Right-arm off break Dolphins ODI, T20I
Dean Elgar 27 Left-handed slow left-arm orthodox Knights Test
Colin Ingram 30 Left-handed Warriors ODI
Farhaan Behardien 31 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans ODI, T20I
Henry Davids 35 Right-handed Right-arm off-break Titans T20I
Stiaan van Zyl 27 Left-handed Right-arm medium Cape Cobras Test
Temba Bavuma 24 Righ-handed Right-arm medium Lions Test
Quinton de Kock 22 Left-handed Lions Test, ODI, T20I
All rounders
Ryan McLaren 32 Left-handed Right-arm medium-fast Knights ODI, T20I
Robin Peterson 35 Left-handed slow left-arm orthodox Cape Cobras Test, ODI
Albie Morkel 33 Left-handed Right-arm medium-fast Titans T20I
Beuran Hendricks 24 Left-handed Left-arm fast-medium Cape Cobras ODI, T20I
Pace Bowlers
Morne Morkel 30 Left-handed Right-arm fast Titans Test, ODI, T20I
Wayne Parnell 25 Left-handed Left-arm medium-fast Warriors Test, ODI, T20I
Vernon Philander 29 Right-handed Right-arm fast–medium Cape Cobras Test, ODI
Dale Steyn 31 Right-handed Right-arm fast Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I
Lonwabo Tsotsobe 31 Right-handed Left-arm fast–medium Lions ODI, T20I
Rory Kleinveldt 32 Right-handed Right-arm fast–medium Cape Cobras Test
Kagiso Rabada 19 Left-handed Right-arm fast Lions T20I
Marchant de Lange 24 Right-handed Right-arm fast Titans Test, ODI
Kyle Abbott 27 Right-handed Right-arm fast–medium Dolphins Test, T20I
Slow Bowlers
Imran Tahir 36 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Lions Test, ODI, T20I
Aaron Phangiso 31 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Lions ODI, T20I
Dane Piedt 25 Right-handed Right-arm off-break Cape Cobras Test
Simon Harmer 26 Right-handed Right-arm off-break Warriors Test

Coaching staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ICC rankings - ICC Test, ODI and Twenty20 rankings - ESPN Cricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. 
  2. ^ a b c "Results summary". Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "South Africa / Recent Results". Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Cricinfo Test Team Records page retrieved on 24 February 2013
  5. ^ Cricinfo ODI [1] retrieved 24 February 2013
  6. ^ McGlashan A (2012), Amla ton leads SA to third No. 1 spot, ESPN Sports Media Ltd., retrieved 25 September 2013, <>
  7. ^ The Times, 27 October 1948, Cricket South Africa's Captain
  8. ^ Champions Trophy 2013: England (underachievers) v South Africa (chokers) battle to lose tags
  9. ^ South Africa choke on their lines again Hugh Chevallier in Durban 20 September 2007 Cricinfo
  10. ^ South Africa Remove Racial Quotas 7 November 2007 BBC Sport
  11. ^ ICC Rankings 17 October 2013 ESPN Cricinfo
  12. ^ Monga, Sidharth (18 March 2015). "Pumped-up South Africa end knockout hoodoo". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Sarkar, Pritha (25 March 2011). "Cricket – New Zealand beat South Africa to reach World Cup semis". Reuters. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Bull, Andy (2011-06-14). "'You've just dropped the World Cup' – Australia v South Africa 12 years on". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  15. ^ Bull, Andy (March 25, 2011). "Deja vu all over again as South Africa choke and exit the World Cup". (London). Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Netherlands vs South Africa, ICC World Cup 2011". 
  17. ^ "South Africa vs Ireland, ICC World Cup 2011". 
  18. ^ "De Kock, Miller in as CSA trims contracts list". 

External links[edit]