South Africa national cricket team

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South Africa
Southafrica cricket logo.svg
South Africa cricket crestl
Test status acquired 1889
Test Captain Faf du Plessis
ODI Captain Ab de Villiers
T20I Captain Faf du Plessis
Coach Russell Domingo
ICC Rankings Current [1] Best-ever
Test Matches
First Test v  England at Crusaders Ground, Port Elizabeth, 12–13 March 1889
Tests Played Won/Lost
Total [2] 410 152/135
(123 draws)
This year [3] 4 3/0 (1 draws)
Last Test v  New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton; 25–29 March 2017
One-Day Internationals
First ODI v  India at Eden Gardens, Calcutta; 10 November 1991
ODIs Played Won/Lost
Total [4] 573 355/196
(6 ties, 16 no result)
This year [5] 9 7/2
(0 ties, 0 no result)
Last ODI v  New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland; 4 March 2017
World Cup Appearances 6 (first in 1992)
Best result Semi-final
T20 Internationals
First T20I v  New Zealand at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg; 21 October 2005
T20Is Played Won/Lost
Total [6] 95 56/38
(0 ties, 1 no result)
This year [7] 4 2/2
Last T20I v  New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland; 17 February 2017
World Twenty20 Appearances 6 (first in 2007)
Best result Semi-final
As of 25 March 2017

The South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas (after South Africa's national flower, the king protea), represents South Africa in international cricket. It is administered by Cricket South Africa. South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test and One Day International (ODI) status.

As of 27 November 2016, South Africa has played 405 Test matches, winning 148 and losing 135.[8] The team has played 564 ODIs, winning 348, losing 194 and tying six, with 16 no-results.[9] Finally, it has played 91 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), winning 54 and losing 36, with one no-result.[10]

On 20 August 2012, South Africa became the top ranked team in test cricket for the first time. 8 days later, on 28 August 2012, it became the first team to top the rankings in all three formats of the game.[11]

South Africa is currently ranked third in Tests, first in ODIs and third in T20Is by the ICC.[12]


South Africa first played international cricket in 1889, though the players participating at the time were not aware of the fact.[13]

The South African cricket team toured England in 1947. At Trent Bridge, 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.[14]

They continued to play regularly series of matches against England, Australia and New Zealand until 1970.[15] The membership rules of the Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC) meant that when South Africa left the Commonwealth in May 1961, they also left the ICC. Despite the rules being changed in 1964 to allow other nations to be "Associate" members, South Africa did not reapply.[16] Due to South African apartheid laws, which introduced legal racial segregation to the country in 1948, no non-white (defined under the legislation as either "black", "coloured" or "Indian") player was eligible to play Test cricket for South Africa.[17]

The anti-apartheid movement led the ICC to impose a moratorium on tours in 1970.[18] 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, Basil D'Oliveira, Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who both played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia, before returning to South Africa. World class cricketers of their day like Clive Rice, Vintcent van der Bijl also never played Test Cricket despite their first class records.

The South African team at The Oval in August 2008.

The ICC reinstated South Africa as a Test nation in 1991, and the team played its first sanctioned international 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 played 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[19] 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 four 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.[20]

With Donald retiring, Cronje banned for match-fixing and later killed 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.[21]

With the addition of class players such as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, the South African Cricket team started rising in the ICC rankings. 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 No. 1. 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.[22]

In February 2014 South Africa took on Australia in a Test series, with the winner being ranked No. 1 team in the world. Australia won the series 2-1.[23] South Africa later in the year would regain the No. 1 ranking. As of 20th of March 2016 South Africa are ranked 3rd in Test Cricket.[24]

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.


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 No. 1 ranking. Then they bowed out in the semi-finals 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.[25] 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.[26]

International grounds[edit]

Locations of all stadiums which have hosted an international cricket match within South Africa

Tournament history[edit]

Commonwealth Games[edit]


This is a list of every active player to have played for South Africa in the last year, and the forms of the game in which they have played. Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott have also played for the national side in that period, but have taken up Kolpak deals in England, which rules them out of selection for the national side.

For the 2015–16 season Cricket South Africa awarded 17 players contracts to the national side from which selectors choose the core of the Test, One-Day and Twenty20 International teams.[27] Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Ryan McLaren were included on this list, despite not playing for the national side since March and November 2014 respectively. 12 players were awarded High Performance contracts, given to those on the fringes of the national side who have potential to develop. Beuran Hendricks who has not played for the national side since April 2014 respectively, and the uncapped Mangaliso Mosehle, Mthokozisi Shezi and Khaya Zondo were included on the list. Non-contracted 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 S/N Contract Notes
Hashim Amla 33 Right-handed Right-arm medium Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I 1 National
Faf du Plessis 32 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Titans Test, ODI, T20I 18 National Test & T20I Captain
Temba Bavuma 26 Right-handed Right-arm medium Lions Test, ODI 11 High Performance
Stephen Cook 34 Right-handed Right-arm medium Lions Test
Theunis de Bruyn 24 Right-handed Right-arm off break Knights Test
Dean Elgar 29 Left-handed Left arm orthodox Knights Test 64 National
David Miller 27 Left-handed Right-arm off break Dolphins ODI, T20I 10 National
AB de Villiers 33 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans Test, ODI, T20I 17 National ODI Captain
Quinton de Kock 24 Left-handed Lions Test, ODI, T20I 12 National
All rounders
Farhaan Behardien 33 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans ODI, T20I 28 High Performance
JP Duminy 32 Left-handed Right-arm off break Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I 21 National
Chris Morris 29 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Titans Test, ODI, T20I 2
Dwaine Pretorius 27 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Lions ODI
Pace Bowlers
Marchant de Lange 26 Right-handed Right-arm fast Titans ODI 90
Duanne Olivier 24 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Knights Test
Morné Morkel 32 Left-handed Right-arm fast Titans Test, ODI 65 National
Wayne Parnell 27 Left-handed Left-arm medium-fast Warriors ODI 7 National
Andile Phehlukwayo 21 Left-handed Right-arm fast–medium Dolphins ODI 23
Vernon Philander 31 Right-handed Right-arm fast–medium Cape Cobras Test 24 National
Kagiso Rabada 21 Left-handed Right-arm fast Lions Test, ODI, T20I 25 National
Dale Steyn 33 Right-handed Right-arm fast Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I 8 National
Spin Bowlers
Keshav Maharaj 27 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Dolphins Test
Dane Piedt 27 Right-handed Right-arm off-break Cape Cobras Test High Performance
Aaron Phangiso 33 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Lions ODI, T20I 69 National
Tabraiz Shamsi 27 Right-handed Left-arm unorthodox Dolphins Test, ODI 26
Imran Tahir 37 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Lions ODI, T20I 99 National

Former and current players[edit]

For a list of Test players, see List of South Africa Test cricketers.
For a list of ODI players, see List of South Africa ODI cricketers.
For a list of Twenty20 International players, see List of South Africa Twenty20 International cricketers.

National captains[edit]

For a list of national captains, see List of South Africa national cricket captains.

Coaching staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ICC Rankings". 
  2. ^ "Test matches - Team records". 
  3. ^ "Test matches - 2017 Team records". 
  4. ^ "ODI matches - Team records". 
  5. ^ "ODI matches - 2017 Team records". 
  6. ^ "T20I matches - Team records". 
  7. ^ "T20I matches - 2017 Team records". 
  8. ^ "Records / South Africa / Test matches / Result summary". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "Records / South Africa / One-Day Internationals / Result summary". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "Records / South Africa / Twenty20 Internationals / Result summary". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  11. ^ McGlashan, Andrew (28 August 2012). "Amla ton leads SA to third No. 1 spot". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "ICC rankings – ICC Test, ODI and Twenty20 rankings". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Williamson, Martin (28 November 2009). "The ignorant internationals". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  14. ^ The Times, 27 October 1948, Cricket South Africa's Captain
  15. ^ "Records / South Africa / Test matches / Series results". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "History of the International Cricket Council". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Minty, Abdul (April 1971). "International Boycott of Apartheid Sport". United Nations Unit on Apartheid. 
  18. ^ Booth, Douglas (1998). The Race Game: Sport and Politics in South Africa. Routledge. p. 99. ISBN 0-7146-4799-3. 
  19. ^ Champions Trophy 2013: England (underachievers) v South Africa (chokers) battle to lose tags
  20. ^ South Africa choke on their lines again Hugh Chevallier in Durban 20 September 2007 Cricinfo
  21. ^ South Africa Remove Racial Quotas 7 November 2007 BBC Sport
  22. ^ ICC Rankings 17 October 2013 ESPN Cricinfo
  23. ^ "Results | South Africa v Australia | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  24. ^ "ICC Test Match Team Rankings International Cricket Council". Retrieved 2016-03-20.  External link in |website= (help)
  25. ^ "Netherlands vs South Africa, ICC World Cup 2011". 
  26. ^ "South Africa vs Ireland, ICC World Cup 2011". 
  27. ^ "CSA awards three new national contracts and three new High Performance contracts". Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  28. ^ "South Africa call on England's nemesis". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 

External links[edit]