Dear South Africa,
I am an Indian and support the Indian cricket team when the two teams are playing each other but the way AB de Villiers and his team played today; we all were at the edges of our seats watching the match back in India. We could feel your nerves; the desperation could be seen in the effort, the body language, and the desperation to win it for your fans that have backed the team despite the dream never materializing. But as they say in an equally fought contest the team which holds nerves better takes the edge.
It was Grant Elliott’s match, those fielding fumbles; the dropped catches all aided their cause. But nothing degrades the respect you have earned. The way AB de Villiers led his men inspired us, the fight the team gave, some superlative performances from you and others, saw you reach the Semi-finals.
This loss is heart breaking, coming so close, sensing victory and yet not being able to get there, hurts even more. All our eyes went wet when the team was left in tears on the field. Don’t be disheartened, you have not let anybody down, it was a fighting defeat and not a submissive one.
Even New Zealand could not believe they had done it till the moment it happened; it is just a matter of mindset before this champion team actually has a trophy in their hands to be crowned the champs. Celebrate the journey, winning is a process and it is unfair to determine it in smaller parameters’ pat your guys on the back, they did what no team from the country has done in the past. South Africa’s first ever knock out match win came in this world cup.
Every fan, analyst and critic rated you good enough to be in the top 4 even before the tournament commenced, and that describes the impact this team has. AB, your boys came true to the expectations, Brendon McCullum’s boys played marginally better cricket than you and that was the difference.
Treat it like a lesson; make it the fuel for the Protea Fire inside every current and future cricketer from the country to ensure South Africa is not just remembered as a League Champion team but as real Champions. Though I am an Indian I want you to be the best, win the ICC World Cup, England and 2019 are waiting for you.
A hug to all the boys, not a consoling one, but to show the world of cricket is proud for the way you carried yourself, promoted and displayed your brand of cricket. Made sure the home team was not given the win easily, tell the youngsters back home the story, the one of your world cup journey, show them your achievements, leave their slates plain after it, teach them to write CHAMPIONS with their names.