Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter says there would have been an “upside” had the Proteas failed to qualify directly for this year’s World Cup in India.
South Africa were confirmed as eighth-placed finishers in the World Cup Super League – and the last automatic qualifiers – when the first ODI between Ireland and Bangladesh in Chelmsford was abandoned due to rain on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t have been totally unhappy if we went to the qualifiers because our winter is pretty sparse in terms of competitive cricket,” Walter told News24.
“To be honest, if you can’t end up in the top two of the qualifiers, you can’t be thinking about winning a World Cup.
“If we went there, we would’ve got at least five to seven competitive ODI cricket games, which aren’t quite there at the moment.
“There would have been an upside to going, but the upside of qualifying directly is jumping that qualification process.”
The biggest positive of qualifying directly for the World Cup is that Proteas players not involved in The Hundred in England or Major League Cricket in the US will be able to take a proper break before Australia’s white-ball tour of South Africa in late August and September.
“The players are chuffed and relieved because several of them identified the next month and a bit as a chance to take a breather,” said Walter. “They need to step away from the game and fill up their tanks for the World Cup.”