The recent 3-1 crushing defeat to England which subsequently led to former England captain Kevin Pietersen labelling the side as ‘probably the worst ever’ has left many Proteas fans disillusioned with the team and the direction it is heading in.
But take a look back at South Africa’s recent past, and you’ll recall memories of when things were good and, subsequently, will perhaps come to the realisation that they can be good once again.
There is growing concern over the future of the national side and the state of South African cricket in general, though. With more and more people – especially youngsters – playing other sports, fears are growing in some quarters that stars of the future simply aren’t coming through. Chuck in the societal issue of more and more people staying indoors and playing various games, be it Call of Duty, FIFA 20 or the range of blackjack games at https://www.casino.com/za/blackjack/, and we might have to wait a little while longer yet until we see a stronger Proteas team. Ultimately though, we don’t know.
To give fans of the side some renewed hope and a sense of optimism still, we thought we’d go through a selection of some of South Africa’s finest cricket players. After all, sport does swing in cycles. With that in mind, there is no doubt that the Proteas will be creating more legends of the sport soon – it’s just what South Africa does! Until then, though, here’s a nod of appreciation to some past heroes.
An opener responsible for some of the most memorable moments in South Africa’s history, Gary Kirsten is easily one of the greatest players we’ve seen in a Proteas shirt. He certainly knew how to play to his strengths, with Kirsten notching up an impressive 7,289 runs, averaging 45.27 in his 101 caps for the country. A recent contender for the England job, Gary Kirsten is a highly respected player from the game and goes down in history as one of South Africa’s greatest. Easily.
Who doesn’t enjoy watching Dale Steyn bowl?! Regarded by many as South Africa’s best-ever fast bowler, Steyn’s record is simply staggering. In 65 caps for the side, he has taken 332 wickets, with an average of 22.65, although he is still playing today meaning this could change, quite remarkably, further. A key to his success has been his ability to remain injury-free, that’s for sure. Steyn isn’t just a legend of South African cricket, but a legend of world cricket too.
South African cricket has certainly lacked some memorable spinners over the years, but Paul Adams is usually one that springs to mind. Entertaining fans in the mid-90s, Adams’ “frog in a blender” bowling style was highly innovative and – most importantly of all – successful. In 45 caps he took 134 wickets, averaging 32.87 and with an econ of 2.98.
Makhaya Ntini was as reliable as they come and a bowler who, simply put, loved taking wickets. Known for his impressive stamina and his relentless bowling style, Ntini was a formidable force. In 101 caps for the Proteas, he took 390 wickets, averaged 28.82 and had an econ of 3.23. What a player.
Arguably the greatest ever wicket-keeper South African cricket has seen, Mark Boucher was a lion who loved a battle. Described as “someone you’ll go to war with” Boucher was also handy with the bat. In 147 caps he scored 5515 runs, averaging 30.30. Legend.