Former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener has recollected the regret that came with South Africa’s semi-final exit at the 1999 World Cup in the United Kingdom.
With nine runs required from the final over of a tense encounter against Australia in Birmingham, Klusener struck consecutive boundaries from the opening two deliveries to reduce the target to one.
A dot ball followed, before a calamitous error in communication between Klusener and tail-ender Allan Donald resulted in a run-out.
The match was tied, which was enough to ensure the Proteas’ exit and Australia’s advance to the final.
‘Getting one off the last ball, that’s not hard. I can do that. All the hard work was done. And then you just didn’t do what you needed to do. Yes, we could have waited and hit the next ball for four,’ Klusener told ESPNcricinfo’s Cricket Monthly.
‘Yes, we could have waited and got bowled out and people would have asked: “Why didn’t you run the ball before?” That’s the tough way of looking at it. I am upset with myself that I had done all the hard work and then I didn’t do the easy part. That’s the regret.
‘It’s not just that game, but a lot of other games where we need two off the last ball and I miss a fricking ball that I have practised a thousand times. I think that’s the regret I have. To look at it in hindsight, that’s something that makes you frustrated.
‘But who’s to say you wouldn’t get a good ball and hit it to cover or get bowled? “Oh, the ball before, you could have snuck one.” And I would be living with the same story. I know what happened. No, it doesn’t bother me. I know what happens. I have seen the movie before. I made the movie.’
The United Kingdom will host the 2019 World Cup, too. England and South Africa will open the tournament at The Oval in London 30 May. Lord’s will host the final on 14 July.