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Cricket World Cup 2023: South Africa’s Squad, Match Schedule, Top Performers

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South Africa head into the World Cup without key pacers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala who were ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. However, the Temba Bavuma-led side seemed to have picked up the pace at the right time. Last month, the Proteas defeated Australia 3-2 after being 2-0 down in a recent ODI series, winning the last three matches by more than 100 runs each time. Proteas will play their World Cup opening match against Sri Lanka at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi and Bavuma is likely to return in time for this clash.

Cricket World Cup factfile on South Africa:

WORLD RANKING

4

MATCH SCHEDULE (IST)

Oct 07: v Sri Lanka at New Delhi (2 PM)

Oct 12: v Australia at Kucknow (2 PM)

Oct 17: v Netherlanda at Dharamsala (2 PM)

Oct 21: v England at Mumbai (2 PM)

Oct 24: v Bangladesh at Mumbai (2 PM)

Oct 27: v Pakistan at Chennai (2 PM)

Nov 01: v New Zealand at Pune (2 PM)

Nov 05: v India at Kolkata (2 PM)

Nov 10: v Afghanistan at Ahmedabad (2 PM)

SQUAD

Temba Bavuma (captain), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.

LEADING RUN-SCORER IN SQUAD

Quinton de Kock: 6,176 runs; highest score 178; average 44.75; Hundreds 17; Fifties 30

LEADING WICKET-TAKER IN SQUAD

Kagiso Rabada: 144 wickets; best bowling 6-16; average 27.75

PREVIOUS WORLD CUP APPEARANCES

1975: Banned from international cricket

1979: Banned from international cricket

1983: Banned from international cricket

1987: Banned from international cricket

1992: Semi-finals

1996: Quarter-finals

1999: Semi-finals

2003: Group stage

2007: Semi-finals

2011: Quarter-finals

2015: Semi-finals

2019: Group stage

WHAT THE CAPTAIN SAYS

“The confidence that we have gained from this series is something which we can’t lose. I was talking to the bowlers and they said it was the best kind of preparation that we can have, bowling in pressure situations.”

Temba Bavuma after his team defeated Australia 3-2

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‘One Format May…’: Mitchell Starc Hints ODI Retirement After IPL 2024 Triumph

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Australia fast-bowler Mitchell Starc hinted on his ODI retirement after lifting the IPL trophy with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The left-arm pacer said with a long wait before the next one-day World Cup, he might shift focus to more franchise cricket around the world. Starc’s return to the IPL has been nothing short of spectacular, culminating in a title win with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). After years of prioritising international cricket, Starc’s decision to rejoin the cash-rich league paid off, and he now contemplates altering his cricketing commitments, potentially stepping away from ODIs.

Starc, who had largely stayed away from the IPL during his peak years to focus on his national duties and manage his workload, revealed his thoughts on this shift at a press conference following KKR’s emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final by eight wickets. KKR secured their third IPL title, with Starc playing a pivotal role.

“The last nine years, I’ve prioritised Australian cricket. I have given myself a chance to give my body a break and spend some time away from cricket with my wife as well, so that’s certainly been where my head’s been for the last nine years,” Starc said at a press conference.

“Moving forward… look, I am certainly closer to the end of my career than the start. One format may drop off. There is long time before the next one-day World Cup and whether that format continues for me or not… it may open doors for more franchise cricket.”

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” he said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup.

“Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold [KKR’s colours] again.”

Starc’s consideration of dropping ODIs from his cricketing calendar could mean more appearances in franchise cricket, including the IPL. Despite being the most expensive player in IPL auction history, fetched for Rs. 24.75 crore by KKR, Starc had a tough start to the season. He conceded 100 runs in his first two games without taking a wicket, but his performance dramatically improved as the tournament progressed.

Starc’s match-winning figures of 3-34 and 2-14 in Qualifier 1 and the final, respectively, against SRH showcased his ability to perform under pressure. His efforts were instrumental in KKR’s dominant campaign, ending with a resounding victory in the final.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” Starc said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup. Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold (KKR’s colours) again,” he said.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, so I know how to manage myself. I haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket in the last few years, so for me, it was trying to find that rhythm of [the] T20 format, and trying to stay ahead of batters,” Starc concluded.

–IANS

hs/bc

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“I’d Do It In A Heartbeat”: England Great Throws Hat In India Head Coach Race

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The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India has started to look out for a new head coach for the men’s Indian cricket team. The tenure of Rahul Dravid, who is currently the head coach of the Rohit Sharma-led side, is going to end with the conclusion of India’s campaign at T20 World Cup 2024. The final match of the event will take place on June 29. BCCI has already started inviting applications for the job with the deadline being May 27.

At present, former India opener Gautam Gambhir seems to be the front runner for the role among the names that are surfacing. Of latest, former England spinner Graeme Swann has also shown his interest in the role.

“If India asked me to become their coach, I’d do it in a heartbeat! I love this place,” Swann told Sports Tak.

“Andy was an incredible coach for England when I played. He took us to no.1 in the world, and was the best coach I’ve played under. India would be lucky to have him,” Swann said.

“India… you’ve got such a strong squad, such highly talented players, that whoever gets the job… it will be the biggest coaching job in the world of cricket these days. Whoever gets it, hope they can bringing success because they are really under the microscope,” he added.

Teams like Pakistan, England and South Africa have adopted split coaching but Swann had earlier suggested that the Indian team doesn’t need that.

“In England, we have three teams that go all around the world cause our summer is in a different time, that’s one of the main reasons that split coaches in England. You don’t need it in India,” Swann told PTI.

“A good coach is a good coach, he’s the right man for all three forms so be it. If the guy is specialist in white ball cricket and he’s available then you can use him,” he added.

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“Playing A Part In Final, It’s Special…”: Andre Russell On KKR Winning IPL 2024

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With the Kolkata Knight Riders lifting the IPL trophy, team all-rounder Andre Russell said he feels excited over his contributions to the team’s journey in the IPL and it’s a special feeling. KKR defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2024 final at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. An all-round performance from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), including fiery spells by Mitchell Starc and Andre Russell and a half-century by Venkatesh Iyer, helped the Purple and Gold side secure their third Indian Premier League (IPL). Sunrisers, who set the T20 cricketing world on fire with their fierce hitting, sky-high run-rates, largely due to the opening pair of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, got a taste of their own medicine. In a battle of two big buys, the Australian stars Cummins (Rs 20.5 crore for SRH) and Starc (Rs 24.75 crores for KKR), it was the latter who prevailed.

“When you’re a part of this squad, not playing or not involved in the field, but supporting the guys all the way, it’s always a good feeling, but this is a special feeling. In the XI, playing a part in the final, contributing as well through my leadership and everything, it’s an exciting feeling. It’s special,” Russell said on Jio Cinema.

The 36-year-old cricketer further spoke about his batting technique.

“It’s just me not clearing my front leg too much, standing as still as possible, and waiting as long as possible. Normally, this is my trigger movement, clearing my left leg, so I tried to keep it as still as possible. So, if the bowler bowls wide, I push straight and I have access because I am standing on the off-stump,” the West Indies all-rounder added.

Earlier, SRH won the toss and elected to bat. KKR rocked SRH with continuous wickets, with the big buy Mitchell Starc justifying his Rs 24.75 crores price tag. Only skipper Pat Cummins (24 in 19 balls, with two fours and a six) and Aiden Markram (20 in 23 balls, with three fours) touched the 20-run mark and SRH was bundled out for 113 in 18.3 overs.

Andre Russell (3/19) was the top bowler for KKR. Starc (2/14) and Harshit Rana (2/24) also contributed well with the ball. Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Vaibhav Arora took a wicket each.

KKR pulled off the run-chase of 114 runs in just 10.3 overs with eight wickets in hand, with Venkatesh Iyer (52* in 26 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39 in 32 balls, with five fours and two sixes) shining for KKR.

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