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Mark Boucher

Underdogs tag can help South Africa – Boucher

South Africa news

Mark Boucher feels being underdogs at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 could help South Africa’s cause.

The former Proteas wicket-keeper, who played at three Cricket World Cups – including the last time it was held in England and Wales in 1999 – hopes going under the radar can help South Africa’s chances at next year’s tournament.

“See, people look at the team during every World Cup and on paper we are a good team,” Boucher told Gulf News.

Boucher admitted the loss of AB de Villiers is a massive blow to South Africa’s World Cup hopes
Boucher admitted the loss of AB de Villiers is a massive blow to South Africa’s World Cup hopes

However, Boucher added: “I think we are probably going into this World Cup not such a good team on paper, which could be a good thing for South Africa.

“I think we are nowhere near the best team. It is a good space to go in out there and surprise a few.

“If you get into the semi-final or final then anything can happen. One good innings can win the day for you, so consistently we have to be at our best to get to a semi-final stage; then who knows.”

South Africa are famously yet to reach a World Cup final, having been knocked out in the semi-final stage on four occasions.

It’s a statistic that has led to the side being labelled ‘chokers’, a tag which Boucher thinks is unjust.

The batting is a bit of a worry and if you lose AB then you are losing a big player in the team – who is going to step into his position that we don’t know yet?

“The choking word comes out all the time and I feel that’s unfair because to win a World Cup you also need a lot of luck to go your way,” he added. “There are a lot of good teams playing in the world at the moment.”

Boucher admitted that the loss of AB de Villiers – who retired earlier this year – is a massive blow to South Africa’s hopes at the World Cup. However, one facet of the Proteas line-up that he isn’t worried about is their bowling attack.

Boucher has played in three World Cups, including the last time it was held in England and Wales in 1999
Boucher has played in three World Cups, including the last time it was held in England and Wales in 1999

“Look, our bowling is good and we have good bowlers coming through. We have got good results as well.

“I think the batting is a bit of a worry and if you lose AB then you are losing a big player in the team. Who is going to step into his position that we don’t know yet? There are a lot of players being used at the moment to try and test them. Yes, we have a couple of guys who have been in there, but until now, none of them have been able to put their hands up and say ‘that’s my position’.”

Limited number of tickets to watch South Africa at CWC19 are now on General Sale. Get yours here before they’re gone!

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