Captain Temba Bavuma says the Proteas can now “really focus” on the 2023 World Cup in India after qualifying directly for the 50-over tournament.
The Proteas’ eighth-placed finish in the World Cup Super League was confirmed on Tuesday night when the first ODI between Ireland and Bangladesh in Chelmsford was abandoned due to rain.
Ireland had to win the three-match series 3-0 and boost their net run rate to finish above the Proteas and take the last automatic World Cup qualifying spot.
The Irish will now join nine other teams – including the West Indies and Sri Lanka – in a World Cup Qualifier series to be played in Zimbabwe in June and July.
ALSO: Bavuma enjoys bucket-list experience
“If I look at the journey, it’s been a tricky one for us as a 50-over team to get to this point, but I think looking at the last couple of months, a lot of positive strides have been made as a team,” Bavuma said in a CSA press release on Wednesday.
“We are well positioned to build on the momentum and confidence that we’ve gained. Now is the perfect opportunity for us to really focus on the World Cup from a preparation point of view, nail down on our plans and brush up on areas that we feel we need to brush up on.
“Personally, it will be a major honour and privilege for me to be leading the team in my first-ever 50-over World Cup and I hope we can achieve some good things as a team.”
While the 2023 World Cup draw has yet to take place, Cricbuzz reported on Wednesday that the 10-team tournament is set to start on 5 October with a match between England and New Zealand, with the final scheduled for 19 November.
Both showpiece matches will be played at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.