South Africa batsman Hashim Amla insisted his team’s World Cup dream lives on, saying the top Proteas stars are still hoping for glory in the near future.
Apart from their Champions Trophy triumph in 1998, South Africa have never won a major International Cricket Council event since their post-apartheid return in 1991.
Faf du Plessis’ side have already exited the World Twenty20, even before their final group game against Sri Lanka on Monday, their World Cup jinx striking again.
“Well, listen, this team will win a World Cup or ICC tournament at some stage, I think we have won one in 1998,” Amla told reporters at New Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla.
South Africa haven’t enjoyed much success of late, with a T20 series loss against Australia heading into the world event, where the side have lost two of their three matches so far.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that we have found ourselves in. Certainly as a team we haven’t played our best cricket,” admitted Amla.
With Amla, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn, the Proteas have seen the ‘golden generation’ fail to claim a global title. Amla assures the big boys will hang around for a while.
“Lot of us feel we have a few more years left in us, so the Champions Trophy is next year and it would be great if we could make to the next World Cup, that will be ideal,” said Amla.
“We take it as it comes. As long as you are fit and healthy, scoring runs and the form is good and you want to perform for the team then you can make it,” he added.
With the chokers tag hanging around their necks after a series of narrow defeats in the last two decades, South Africa didn’t do their reputation any good after going down in crunch games this time around.
The Proteas’ hopes of clinching a first international trophy were dented in their opening match when England chased down a record 230 runs to win.
They survived a scare to beat minnows Afghanistan by 37 runs, but lost a thriller when the West Indies successfully chased 123 with just two balls to spare, and Sri Lanka’s defeat to England on Saturday sealed their fate.
“We haven’t had a game where our batting and our bowling has clicked in the same game consistently enough and that has been our biggest downfall,” Amla said.
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