Wed. Jul 17th, 2019

Proteas: We’ve let down all our fans back home – Duminy

JP Duminy will return to the Proteas playing XI against Sri Lanka at the Riverside Stadium in Durham on Friday.

proteas weve let down all our fans back home duminy 1024x683 - Proteas: We’ve let down all our fans back home – Duminy

JP Duminy says that the Proteas are bitterly disappointed with their World Cup performance so far but remain committed to finishing the tournament well.

Duminy is set to return to the XI for only his fourth game of the campaign at the expense of David Miller, who is injured. The Proteas take on Sri Lanka in Chester-Le-Street on Friday.

“The last thing I wanted was to play three games and then not be selected, but it’s the nature of the beast and no-one is guaranteed selection. So it’s bittersweet because I wanted to end on a high but unfortunately, it’s not meant to be. I could have done better personally and I need to stress how disappointed we all are as a team because the performance has been pretty dismal.

“I was hoping for another opportunity and now there are two games left so it will be nice to end off playing in the World Cup. But the biggest disappointment is the team not making the playoffs and contending for the title. We’ve let down all our fans back home, even though there’s been a lot of effort and preparation, we tried our best to go out with a strong mindset, but we just haven’t executed our skills,” Duminy said at a pre-match press conference at the Riverside on Thursday.

Duminy said the Proteas desire to beat Sri Lanka stemmed from the need to prove themselves better than their previous results not a desire to eliminate Sri Lanka from the semi-final race. The islanders are just two points behind fourth-placed England heading into the match.

“It’s not about a grudge or kicking them out of the World Cup, our most important mission is just to play good cricket, the brand we know we are capable of. If we do that then we have the best chance of beating them. We’ve played good cricket recently against Sri Lanka both there and at home, so we know we can beat them. If guys have one foot on the plane it means they take for granted what a huge privilege it is to play for this team.

“Ultimately it’s a decision you have to make for yourself, as much as the leadership group has spoken about it. For me I 100% agree with the being freed up to go out and play your natural game route. It’s almost like you’ve been given licence, it’s like you’re a kid again, with a smile on your face, playing to enjoy it. You’re out having fun with your friends. That’s what I want my final game to be,” Duminy said.

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South Africa’s David Miller hits a six during the Super Over at the end of the T20 cricket match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. Photo: RODGER BOSCH / AFP

No rotation for Proteas

Proteas assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa insisted that the team will continue to select the best XI going forward, even though their matches against Sri Lanka and Australia are dead rubbers for South Africa.

“Our plan has always been to try and play the best team possible for the conditions and there’s no way we’re going to shift our mindset away from winning every game to now giving guys a chance just because we’re out of contention. We owe it to the tournament and to ourselves to win our last two games and we want to make sure we finish well for the millions of people supporting us back home.

“Our focus is on representing our country and we want to make sure we finish on a high. It’s about our legacy of this World Cup and we don’t want it to be winning one game out of 10; three out of 10 sounds a bit better. We want to walk away with our heads held high from the last two games,” Maketa said in Durham on Wednesday

The Proteas are currently ninth on the log ahead of only winless Afghanistan.

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