Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2015 Contents A53
Saturday, March 28, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The tears have dried, the words have been spoken,
some sleep finally came to stop the re-runs of Tues-
day night that have been playing in the minds of
the South Africa squad, and a few of them have
made the 30-hour journey home. It is all over and
as the scabs form over the open wounds, Russell
Domingo has said calm, not change, is the way for-
"We will let things settle down a little bit, we will
grimace and bear watching the final between Australia
and New Zealand, or we might watch Kaizer Chiefs
South Africa coach
Russell Domingo at the
conference after his
team lost to New
Zealand by four wickets
(D/L method) in the
first semifinal of the ICC
Cricket World Cup in
instead, and then we take stock of where we are.
There is such a fine line between winning and losing,
and for us to want to make radical or drastic changes
or chuck this out or chuck that out based on a bound-
ary with one ball to spare will be a little bit immature,"
Domingo said. "We don t want players to make emo-
tional decisions after a tournament like this and think
The eight members of the squad in their 30s,
including AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, may not
see another World Cup but Domingo wants to leave
the door open. "We re hoping AB plays until 2027,"
he joked. "Look, Kumar Sangakkara got four hundreds
back to back. He is 37. AB s best batting years are
ahead of him. JP s best batting years are ahead of
him, Faf s too. At the next World Cup, you could
have a seriously mature, experienced batting group.
There is by no means talk that that s the end of that
batting group. I still think they ve got at least one
World Cup to go."
De Villiers would not be drawn that far into the
future, maintaining that he still has "absolutely no
idea" how the team will get over this and that he is
"not there yet." He has a week off before the IPL,
which he hopes to use to get there. "I need some
time away from the game. Luckily, I have got a week
at home with family---not my mom and dad because
they are still in Sydney, they thought we were going
to the final so it s quite ironic," he said. "But my wife
is here. I ll play with my dogs, play a round of golf,
have a beer or two."
Domingo did not go as far as bowlers in de Villiers
age group but hinted some changes may come in the
support staff, when contracts are renegotiated over
the next few weeks.
"Regarding the management team, quite a few
guys contracts come up at the end of April. We will
have to sit down, with the CEO and the board, and
go through that and make a decision pretty soon.
There s no confirmation of who is staying and who
is going," Domingo said.
For now, the only movement in South African
cricket is that of the players returning to the country
from Auckland. They are arriving in four groups and
the first one, which touched down yesterday morning,
included De Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn, Vernon
Philander, JP Duminy and Rilee Rossouw. They were
met in Perth by two young girls who brought banners
on which they had written, in Afrikaans, "You are
still heroes", and "Still proud."
By the time they reached Johannesburg, at 4.40
am, a crowd had gathered at OR Tambo International
Airport. "Give me a hug AB, I m also sad," was one
of the posters on display. De Villiers responded with
a warm embrace. The players signed autographs and
posed for pictures and fed off the cocoon of support
they ve been ensconced in.
"I was expecting some negativity from fans and
the media but the messages we have received have
made us feel like a bunch of winners just like our
minister always says," de Villiers said.
The minister, Fikile Mbalula, arrived half an hour
into the press conference, saying he would not have
woken up that early to welcome home a "bunch of
losers" and he let de Villiers know he had shared the
team s tears. "You were determined to cross the line,"
Mbalula said. "I don t know who Duck or Lewis is
but we tried our best and lost."
That was there for all to see as South Africa provided
one of the World Cup s best games despite finishing
on the wrong side. Their despair on the field in Auck-
land had continued into the change room where de
Villiers said it was "difficult to talk afterwards,"
although he tried. "Russell and I said a few words,
all just encouraging the guys. I thought it was really
important for the guys not to sulk too much. I told
them how proud I was and how easy they made my
job as a captain, knowing they were right behind
against radical changes
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