Bell tolls for Proteas flops
NEW DELHI — The Melbourne Cricket Ground or rather “The G”. That was meant to be the Colosseum where this group of Proteas’ were to confirm their “Golden Generation” status by winning the 2015 World Cup. They only got as far as Eden Park. Just over a year later the World T20 here in India afforded them another opportunity to end a nation’s 18-year wait for a major ICC title. Their place in South African cricket history would also have unheralded, especially considering the honours the majority of this side have already achieved in the Test arena for the past decade.
But like when they first came together at a major tournament way back at the 2011 World Cup here on the subcontinent, there has only been one disappointment upon another since. This World T20 has been no different with earlier defeats to England and West Indies rendering Sunday’s final Group 1 clash against Sri Lanka meaningless.
In the aftermath of the Windies defeat Proteas T20 captain Faf du Plessis was particularly scathing of the senior core within his team, saying: “The difference in getting across the line in big games is when big players step up”.
Time is surely running out for the likes of AB de Villiers (32), Hashim Amla (32), Dale Steyn (32), Imran Tahir (36), Du Plessis (31) and JP Duminy (32) to “step up” when it matters most. They have already lost warhorses like Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis to retirement ahead of the 2015 World Cup, while Morne Morkel was considered surplus to requirements for this World T20 and is believed to be now considering his limited-overs future.
De Villiers has already spoken of “managing his workload” going ahead, which could possibly mean cutting out one format from his ever-increasing playing schedule. Considering he holds the position of Proteas Test and ODI captain, it is more than likely to be T20 Internationals.
Amla and T20 cricket has also never been a perfect fit, while Steyn has been carrying drinks at this World T20 since the opening game against England. Duminy’s high injury count of late will too surely be source of reflection which could see the all-rounder consider his future, although it is more than likely that he will prefer the shorter formats over the exertions of first-class cricket.
Amla, however, brushed aside the suggestions that there could soon be a clearout of the Proteas dressingroom as the motivation unquestionably remains strong to not follow in the footsteps of England football’s ‘Golden Generation’, who under coach Sven-goran Eriksson were littered with big-name players but ultimately never won a major trophy during the mid-200s.
“The team is always going to have a few members leave and a few members filling their positions as the years go by and we are seeing that happening. As far as this being “Golden Generation” we often joke about it. If you look at the 1999 (Proteas) team that lost in the semi-final, people would say that was a golden generation because they had such exceptional players. We are just hoping that we keep doing well and that when we get to a World Cup or an ICC Trophy, everything fits in really well where we can play our best cricket,” Amla explained to the media at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground yesterday.
The former Proteas Test skipper believed that another chance to end the heartache is not that far away though, citing the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. LIVER LIVERPOOL — It’s a time-honoured, drear drearily predictable saga that snares man many of the Premier League’s best fore foreign imports.
A wantaway star goes on internati national duty to his native country an and forgets the art of diplomacy re regarding his future.
The player pauses due respect t to his current club and talks more f freely about his ambitions seemingly oblivious to the fact it will be reported just as if he’d said it bac back in the UK. There w was a time they could mount the “comments“comment mistranslated” defence.
But to jaded supporters familiar with the danc dance now, that time is long gone.
So wh what of Everton fans and Romelu Lukaku Lukaku, after he dusted off his dancing shoes a and spoke of wanting Champions League football on Friday ?
Not to mention his dad getting the ball rolling w with some unsavoury speculation over who his son should join next.
Will he now be subjected to barracking and fury f from fans long-suffering in this
“There is Champions Trophy next year and we are still extremely keen to play international cricket. A lot of us feel that there are still a few years left in us. It would be great for us to get to the next 50 overs World Cup which would be ideal. But we will take it as it comes, as long as you’re fit and healthy and scoring runs and warrant your position in the team then we can go on,” Amla explained.
However, before such long-term planning can take place Amla and his teammates will trend? Well, actually, probably not. A poll on Saturday resulted in 79% of Blues saying they expect the 25-goal forward to leave Goodison in the summer.
But the true reflection of their comments since is not one of anger at Lukaku.
If anything there is sympathy for a striker who, at times, has carried a badly underperforming team this term.
The majority of Evertonians are more concerned by the club’s failure to compete for the top four place which could really give Lukaku food for thought about staying on Merseyside,
Instead a team of players which, on paper at least, should be in that mix are slumped in 12th, level on points with Bournemouth; a side most expected to be fighting for their lives.
It’s true that the ire of the Blue faithful is focusing on an individual for this sorry plight, but it’s not Lukaku - even if his comments are unhelpful.
The problem for many remains Roberto Martinez .
Such is the unrest over his team’s failings this season, he will bear the brunt of the anger for anything that goes wrong between now and May. — Liverpool Echo need to find the mental strength to focus on a game that means nothing in the context of this tournament. Both teams have already been eliminated and are struggling with injuries to key players. The Proteas will not risk playing Duminy as he is still busy with his rehabilitation programme on his injured hamstring, while Sri Lanka will follow suit in regards to captain Angelo Matthews, who too hurt his hamstring during his epic knock against England on Saturday. — IOL LONDON — Big-spending Manchester United must always continue their tradition of bringing through players from the youth academy, assistant manager Ryan Giggs has said.
The 20-times English champions have endured a stuttering campaign by their high standards and sit sixth in the league, are already out of Europe but retain hope in the FA Cup ahead of a sixth round replay with West Ham United next month.
United manager Louis Van Gaal has brought through a number of academy players this term, such as striker Marcus Rashford, but the Dutch coach has been tipped by British media to make way for former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho next season.
Giggs said future United managers should respect the club’s history for promoting from within.
“I think it will always be part of the club’s philosophy. It’s part of the history, it’s what sets us apart from other teams,” Giggs told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“Yes, we can bring world-class players in from around the world but we want one of our own to be performing on that Old Trafford pitch... we need players to come through the ranks. That’s a massive part of the United history.”
United, 16 points back of leaders Leicester City, host Everton in league action on Sunday. — Reuters
SOUTH Africa Proteas’ T20 captain Faf du Plessis.
Belgium and everton striker Romelu lukaku