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May 18, 2010
South African allrounder Albie Morkel has said the coach Corrie van Zyl had stern words for each member of the team after their exit from the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies. South Africa were knocked out by Pakistan in the Super Eights and it continued a trend of below-par performances in world tournaments.
"The guys stayed in their rooms for about a day trying to deal with the situation. Corrie van Zyl called us in individually and harsh words were spoken," Morkel told Sport24.co.za. "What I like and appreciate about him is that he's not afraid to have his say. He made you understand that you have to do things his way to be part of the plans going forward."
Since winning the Wills International Cup knockout tournament in Dhaka in 1998, South Africa have failed to reach the finals of all subsequent world limited-overs tournaments, including the 2003 World Cup which they hosted and bowed out in the first round. Morkel said the players were annoyed with themselves for crumbling yet again on the big stage.
"Prior to the tournament, one got the impression that everyone felt the pressure as we had not won a major tournament in 12 years. The older players, in particular, were taking it badly as they knew time was running out to win a big tournament," Morkel said. "We continuously make the same mistakes and Graeme Smith (the captain) emphasised that we could not afford it.
"It was bad when we dropped out of the tournament. Everybody was irritated because we knew we let ourselves and the supporters down."
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell, now a commentator, said after the tournament that South Africa's conservative brand of cricket had let them down. He said the selectors may have to review Smith's role as captain.
However, Morkel said Smith had the backing of all his team-mates. "He's a good leader and does his homework thoroughly. But tough decisions have to be taken to bring in new blood," Morkel said. "Someone like Mark Boucher should not summarily be written off, as competition may just get the best out of him again."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.