March 25, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

Belief beats expectation

Liam Brickhill

South Africa's willingness to experiment and change their focus from pace to spin isn't the only difference between their current World Cup campaign and past sorties. The other major change - and it may be one that's vital to their success - is that they've travelled to India without the weight of expectation on their shoulders, writes Neil Manthorp in the Mail & Guardian.

The Proteas have been strong favourites in each of the last three campaigns and burdened with an outrageous and immodest sense of entitlement which was personified by the late Percy Sonn who, as president of the United Cricket Board in 2003, told anybody who would listen that South Africa's "time had come".

And from the moment it was announced, six years ago, that Asia would host the 2011 event it was made perfectly clear to the mid-2000s generation that they'd better win in the Caribbean in 2007 because they had "no chance of winning on the subcontinent". All of this helped enormously to remove both the baggage and burden on the class of 2011.

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Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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