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Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 06:26 AM IST

South Africa pursue great obsession

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Johannesburg: South Africa’s quest for a major international cricket trophy has become enough of an obsession for star batsman and one-day international captain AB de Villiers to put his Test career on hold. When he announced in January that he was cutting back on Test cricket, De Villiers, 33, said the main goal for the rest of his career was to win the 2019 World Cup in England. But a victory in the Champions Trophy, also in England, would go a long way to relieving the pressure that has built on South African teams during 19 years of near-misses and outright failures in global events — pressure that has seen South Africa labelled “chokers” because of their tendency to perform well in limited overs cricket but crumble in one-off knockout games. Gary Kirsten, South Africa’s coach during their previous Champions Trophy campaign, in England in 2013, confronted the issue head-on by discussing the perception with his players, rather than having it as an unseen or unspoken elephant in the room. South Africa reached the semi-finals but Kirsten, who had already announced he did not plan to renew his contract, acknowledged they “choked” when they were beaten by the hosts

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Published on: Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 12:56 AM IST
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