South Africa national cricket team

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South Africa
Refer to caption
South Africa cricket crest[1]
Nickname(s) Proteas
Association Cricket South Africa
Captain Faf du Plessis
Coach Ottis Gibson
Test status acquired 1889
International Cricket Council
ICC status Full member (1909)
ICC region Africa
ICC Rankings Current [2] Best-ever
Test 2nd 1st
ODI 2nd 1st
T20I 6th 1st
First Test v  England at Crusaders Ground, Port Elizabeth, 12–13 March 1889
Last Test v  India at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg; 24-27 January 2018
Tests Played Won/Lost
Total [3] 420 157/139
(124 draws)
This year [4] 3 2/1 (0 draws)
One Day Internationals
First ODI v  India at Eden Gardens, Calcutta; 10 November 1991
Last ODI v  India at PPC Newlands, Cape Town; 7 February 2018
ODIs Played Won/Lost
Total [5] 586 361/203
(6 ties, 16 no result)
This year [6] 6 1/5
(0 ties, 0 no result)
World Cup Appearances 7 (first in 1992)
Best result Semi-finalist (1992, 1999, 2007, 2015)
Twenty20 Internationals
First T20I v  New Zealand at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg; 21 October 2005
Last T20I v  Bangladesh at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom; 29 October 2017
T20Is Played Won/Lost
Total [7] 101 60/40
(0 ties, 1 no result)
This year [8] 2 1/1
(0 ties, 0 no result)
World Twenty20 Appearances 6 (first in 2007)
Best result Semi-finalist (2009, 2014)

Test kit

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Kit right arm goldborder.png

ODI kit

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T20 kit

As of 19 February 2018

The South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas (after South Africa's national flower, the king protea), represents South Africa in international cricket. It is administered by Cricket South Africa. South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test and One Day International (ODI) status.

As of 7 February 2018, South Africa has played 420 Test matches, winning 157 and losing 139.[9] The team has played 586 ODIs, winning 361, losing 203 and tying six, with 16 no-results.[10] Finally, it has played 91 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), winning 54 and losing 36, with one no-result.[11]

On 20 August 2012, South Africa became the top ranked team in test cricket for the first time. 8 days later, on 28 August 2012, it became the first team to top the rankings in all three formats of the game.[12]

As of 28 September 2017, South Africa is ranked second in Tests, first in ODIs and sixth in T20Is by the ICC.[13]


Beginnings and early developments

European colonisation of southern Africa began on Tuesday 6 April 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a settlement called the Cape Colony on Table Bay, near present-day Cape Town, and continued to expand into the hinterland through the 17th and 18th centuries. It was founded as a victualling station for the Dutch East Indies trade route but soon acquired an importance of its own due to its good farmland and mineral wealth. There was no significant British interest in South Africa until 1795, when British troops under Sir James Craig seized Cape Colony during the French Revolutionary War, the Netherlands having fallen to Napoleon the same year. After the British seized Cape Colony a second time in 1806 to counteract French interests in the region in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, Cape Colony was turned into a permanent British settlement. As in most other parts of the world, British colonization brought in its wake the introduction of the game of cricket, which began to develop rapidly. The first ever recorded cricket match in South Africa took place in 1808, in Cape Town between two service teams for a prize of one thousand rix-dollars.[14]

The oldest cricket club in South Africa is the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, founded in 1843, one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world. In 1862, an annual fixture "Mother Country v Colonial Born" was staged for the first time in Cape Town. By the late 1840s, the game had spread from its early roots in Cape Colony and permeated the Afrikaners in the territories of Orange Free State and Transvaal, who were descendants of the original Dutch settlers and were not considered naturally a cricket-playing people. In 1876, Port Elizabeth presented the "Champion Bat" for competition between South African towns. The first tournament was staged in Port Elizabeth. King Williams Town won the tournament in 1876 and the following year, in 1877, too.[15]

In 1888, Sir Donald Currie sponsored the first visiting team, England. The touring team was arranged by Major R.G. Warton, and captained by future Hollywood actor C. Aubrey Smith. Sir Currie also created the Currie Cup or Kimberley Cup in 1888 that was a competition among the different states in South Africa, the first first-class tournament in South Africa. The inaugural competition was won by Transvaal. The tour marked the advent of both first-class and Test cricket in South Africa.[16]

Dawn of First-class cricket and Test cricket in South Africa and South Africa's early Test history

In 1889, South Africa became the third test-playing nation when it played against England at Port Elizabeth.[17] Soon after, a 2nd test was played at Cape Town. However, these two matches, as was the case with all early matches involving the erstwhile 'South African XI' against all touring teams, did not receive the status of official 'Test' matches until South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference with England and Australia in 1906. Neither did the touring English team organized by Major Warton even claim to be representing the English cricket team; the matches were marketed as 'Major Warton's XI' v/s 'South African XI' instead. Even the players who participated did not know that they had played international cricket, and the side that played South Africa was regarded to be of weak county strength. The team was captained by C.A. Smith, a decent medium pacer from Sussex, and for two of the Major Warton's XI, Basil Grieve and The Honourable Charles Coventry, the two Tests constituted their entire first-class career. Even so, the nascent, fledgling 'South African XI' was very weak, losing both tests comfortably to England, English spinner Johnny Briggs claiming 15-28 in the second Test at Cape Town.[18] However, Albert Rose-Innes did make history by becoming the first South African bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Tests at Port Elizabeth.

South Africa's early Test record remains the worst among all current Test-playing nations with ten defeats and just a solitary draw from their first eleven tests,[19] and it was not until 1904 that they began to emerge as a quality international team. They recorded their first Test win against England in 1906, which took them 17 years. The low point of this barren early period for the South African team was an English tour of 1895-96, where South Africa was humiliated 3-0 in 3 Tests by an English side for the first time remotely comparable to a full-strength team, losing all the tests by 288 runs,[20] an innings and 197 runs,[21] and by an innings and 32 runs[22] respectively. The touring English team, arranged by Lord Hawke, consisted of four of the best cricketers of the world at the time: Tom Hayward, C.B. Fry, George Lohmann and Sammy Woods.

Emergence as a quality international team

Jimmy Sinclair, who holds the record for the highest strike rate in the history of Test cricket

In the early 1900s, the first world-class South African cricket team emerged, comprising stars such Bonnor Middleton, Jimmy Sinclair, Charlie Llewellyn, Dave Nourse, Louis Tancred, Aubrey Faulkner, Reggie Schwarz, Percy Sherwell, Tip Snooke, Bert Vogler, and Gordon White, players who were capable of giving any international teams a run for their money. In addition to possessing batsmen such as Sinclair (the batsman with the highest strike rate in Test history), Nourse, Tancred, all-rounder Faulkner, Sherwell, Snooke, and White, the South Africans developed the world's first (and arguably greatest ever) spin attack which specialized in googly. Greatest among the South African googly quartet was Schwarz, who inspired by English googly bowler Bernard Bosanquet, regarded as the inventor of the googly, developed into the most devastating googly bowler of his time. He taught diligently the secrets of the googly to allrounder Faulkner, medium-pacer Vogler and specialist batsman White, and together the four formed a quartet which began to lead South Africa to unprecedented heights in Test cricket.[23] Another important force during this period for South Africa were the all-round performances of Faulkner and Llewellyn. Faulkner came to be regarded as the first great South African all-rounders in the international game, regarded by some as even the greatest all-rounder in the world in the pre-1st World War period.[24]

Aubrey Faulkner, regarded as the first great South African all-rounder in international cricket. In a legendary 25-match Test career spanning from 1906 to 1924, he scored 1754 runs at 40.79 and claimed 82 wickets at 26.58
Reggie Schwarz, the pioneer of the googly and the 'googly revolution' in South Africa and one of the world's first great googly bowlers

The Australian cricket team toured South Africa in 1902, with an extremely strong squad comprising many prominent members of 'The Golden Age of Australian Cricket' such as Victor Trumper, Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Syd Gregory, Monty Noble, Reggie Duff, Warwick Armstrong, Hugh Trumble, and Ernie Jones. Though South Africa lost the 3-match Test series 2-0, they managed to avoid defeat for the first time by drawing the first game at Johannesburg, even forcing the touring side to follow on thanks to some outstanding all-round performances from Llewellyn.[25]

In 1904, South Africa were invited by the Marylebone Cricket Club for a tour of England to play a series of first-class matches, the team not being regarded as of sufficiently high standard to play official Tests. The side managed to win ten out of their twenty-two matches, including a thrilling tie with Middlesex, who managed to finish among the top four in that year's County Championship, due to some magic weaved by Schwarz through his googlies. He repeated his heroics against an all-England XI, whom South Africa recorded an upset victory against by 189 runs. Unfortunately, the match was not accorded official Test status.[26]

In 1906, England made a reciprocal tour to South Africa, which this time consisted of a 5-match official Test series. The touring English team was second-string team, with only Colin Blythe, Schofield Haigh and JN Crawford being those who could be considered regulars of the England team. Nevertheless, South Africa were still not favourites going into the series. However, in a shocking result at Johannesburg, the inspired South Africans, led by Sherwell and their googly quartet, defeated England by 1 wicket, thereby recording her first Test win. Schwarz, Vogler and Faulkner led the way for South Africa.[27] Afterwards, South Africa decimated England by 9 wickets in the 2nd Test at Johannesburg, a 243-run win in the 3rd test at the same venue as well as an innings-and-16 runs victory at Cape Town in the 5th Test to secure a 4-1 decimation of England. Schwarz picked up 18 in the series at 17.22, Faulkner 14 at 19.42. Vogler was not so successful with 9 wickets at 22.33.[28] The series is widely recognized as the one which heralded the arrival of South Africa as a major force on the international cricket scene. The MCC duly complied by inviting the South African team to tour England in 1907 for the first time to play official Tests. Though the series finished 1-0 to England with two draws, the quartet of Schwarz, Faulkner, Vogler and White were praised for their exceptional quality of googly bowling,[29] and Schwarz and Vogler came to be recognized as Wisden Cricketers of the Year the following year - the first South Africans to win the prestigious award.

England's next tour of South Africa came about in 1909-10. Once again, South Africa was dominant, winning the 5-match Test series 3-2, with victories in the first Test at Johannesburg by 19 runs,[30] second Test at Durban by 95 runs,[31] and by 4 wickets in the 4th Test at Cape Town.[32] South Africa's captain was Tip Snooke.

The South African cricket team toured Australia for the first time in 1910-11. The Australian team was then considered as the leading cricket team of the era, in what has been described as 'The Golden Age of Australian Cricket'. Led by the legendary Clem Hill and the batting exploits of Victor Trumper, Australia won the 5-match Test series comfortably 4-1, though South Africa made history by recording their first ever overseas Test victory, as well as a maiden Test victory against Australia at the 3rd Test in Adelaide Oval.[33] The tour was significant for the rise of Billy Zulch as a leading batsman of the South African cricket team; and after a resolute 150 in the 1st Test at Sydney Cricket Ground in a heavy innings defeat for South Africa,[34] he scored South Africa's highest individual score of 105 in their maiden overseas Test win at Adelaide, a match also characterized by the all-round performances Charlie Llewellyn and the outstanding bowling of Reggie Schwarz.

South Africa's next international cricketing involvement was a triangular tournament held in England, involving the England, Australia and South Africa, the only three Test playing nations of the era. By this time, the googly duo of Schwarz and White were past their prime, while Vogler had already retired. Additionally, retirements of key players such as Sherwell ensured that South Africa were no where near their best in the series. South Africa finished bottom with just one draw, but the series was notable for the debut of Herbie Taylor, regarded as one of the finest batsmen of the era. The tournament marked the international swansong for Schwarz and White. The tournament also marked the peak of the short, but moderately successful test career of medium-pacer Sid Pegler, whose rise, coinciding as it did with the decline of Schwarz and Vogler, briefly caused him to hold the mantle of the lead bowler of the South African bowling attack before as well as to emerge as South Africa's leading bowler and a resounding success in the Triangular tournament, before commitments elsewhere in the form of the appointment as a colonial district commissioner in Nyasaland forced him to drift out of cricket - meaning that the enormous potential that he showed in that Triangular as well as the expectations that he could be a mainstay in the South African bowling in the coming years were not quite fulfilled.

Herbie Taylor, whose career spanned 20 years and 42 Tests, was the first South African to reach the landmark of 2,500 Test runs at an average of 40.77. He was the mainstay of the South African batting as well as one of the leading batsmen in the world from his debut in 1912 until his retirement in 1932. He was an expert on the matting pitches which were prevalent in South Africa at the time and scored six of his seven centuries at home. His batting was also noted for quick footwork and exceptional 'backplay'.

Prodigious batsman Herbie Taylor was named captained of the South African team to face off against the visiting English team in 1913-14, in what would prove South Africa's last international cricketing involvement before the First World War. Overall, the series was extremely poor for a South African side in transition, who failed to replicate the achievements of the South African sides 1905-06 and 1909–10, losing the 5-match Test series 4-0 against an extremely strong English side playing under the banner of the MCC. However, the series became memorable for Herbie Taylor's exceptional batting, who heralded his arrival as a new colossus in the world game, scoring a phenomenal 508 runs at an average of 50.80 against a terrific Sydney Barnes at his prime, who had claimed a record 49 wickets during the series at just 10.93. The cricket historian H.S. Altham wrote: "The English cricketers were unanimous that finer batting than his against Barnes at his best they never hoped to see." Neville Cardus noted it was "perhaps the most skilful of all Test performances by a batsman." It also led Cardus to count Taylor as "one of the six greatest batsmen of the post-Grace period".

Inter-War Years

The war brought in its wake the temporary suspension of international cricket. The Currie Cup, which had hitherto not been held during the years of The Boer War (1899-1902) and on the years when England had visited as a touring team, faced cancellation during the years of war (1914–18). Cricketing activity in South Africa resumed to normal with the armistice in November 1918.

Post World War I, South Africa first hosted in 1919-20 an Australian Imperial Forces side boasting cricketers of the calibre of Jack Gregory, Herbie Collins, Bert Oldfield, and Nip Pellew. The South African XI lost both of their matches against them.

Australia became the first international team to make an official tour to South Africa in 1921-22. The first two tests at Durban and Johannesburg were drawn,[35][36] with Australia sealing the series 1-0 with a 10-wicket win in the 3rd Test at Cape Town.[37][38] Herbie Taylor, who captained the South Africans, finished with 200 runs at 33.33. Claude Carter was the South Africans' leading bowler, taking 15 wickets at 21.93.[39]

The following season, in 1922-23, an English cricket team toured. Just like nine years previous Taylor was at his best. In the first Test at Johannesburg he batted at number three and in the second innings scored a superb 176, the next highest score in the match was 50.[40] Taylor's knock included 25 boundaries and was the largest by a South African against England.[41] South Africa won the Test by 168 runs, it was Taylor's first victory as captain and as a Test player.[42] He followed that in the second Test with scores of 9 and 68 as England narrowly won by one wicket.[43] In the third Test at Durban he was moved back up to open the innings, he scored 91 and shared 110 with Bob Catterall. The third days play was washed out leaving the draw inevitable in a four-day match.[44] The fourth Test was also drawn, Taylor scored 11 at number four and when moved back as opener in the second innings made 101. Wisden wrote: "Taylor, who hit out freely when fear of defeat had gone, played a masterly game, but he had a little luck".[45] With the series still level at 1–1, the fifth and final Test was made Timeless to ensure a winner of the series. England's C. A. G. Russell scored two centuries in the match and South Africa were set a target of fourth innings target of 344. Taylor, at number four, batted for four and a half hours over an innings of 102 however he received little support from his teammates and South Africa lost by 109 runs.[46] Taylor finished the series with 582 runs at 64.66 and was the highest scorer on either side, his total was 278 more than the next South African.[47] His series total was at the time a Test record for a captain, later surpassed by Don Bradman in 1936.[48] His three centuries in the series set a South African Test record which was only bettered in 2003/04 by Jacques Kallis.[49] The Wisden report of the series recorded that "H. W. Taylor as a batsman was in a class by himself".[50] The series cemented Taylor's position as a leading batsman in the world.

With Faulkner retiring in 1924, the South Africans, who had only two quality players in Taylor and Cattrell, underwent somewhat of a barren period in the 1920s. However, the emergence of a new generation of South African cricketers, more so in their batting than in their bowling, in the 1930s such as Bruce Mitchell, Xen Balaskas, Ken Viljoen, Dudley Nourse, Eric Rowan, Alan Melville, Pieter van der Bijl, and Ronnie Grieveson once again ensured that South Africa became a top quality international team. The team's leading batsmen during this era were Mitchell, Nourse, Rowan, Melville, and van der Bijl. Nourse, in particular, became famous for his hand-eye coordination and his excellent fielding, one of many to be produced by South Africa in the coming decades; natural skills which were according to legend inspired and developed by his father Dave's refusal to coach him as an youngster, demanding that he learnt the rudiments of the game on his own, as he himself had. This South African team was also distinct from past South African teams in one respect: whereas the previous teams had been composed entirely of British-origin players, this team had Afrikaners like van der Bijl and Greeks such as Balaskas, regarded by wide consensus to be the greatest Greek cricketer ever.[51]

Bruce Mitchell, who scored 3,471 Test runs, at that time a national record
Dudley Nourse, who scored 2960 Test runs in 34 Tests at 53.81 and had 9 centuries to his credit, at the time a national record

The South African cricket team toured England in 1947. At Trent Bridge, Captain Alan Melville and vice-captain, Dudley Nourse achieved a Test match record for a third wicket partnership of 319. The following year Nourse, 38-year-old captain of Natal, was appointed Captain for the 1948 MCC Test matches in South Africa.[52]

They continued to play regularly series of matches against England, Australia and New Zealand until 1970.[53] The membership rules of the Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC) meant that when South Africa left the Commonwealth in May 1961, they also left the ICC. Despite the rules being changed in 1964 to allow other nations to be "Associate" members, South Africa did not reapply.[54] Due to South African apartheid laws, which introduced legal racial segregation to the country in 1948, no non-white (defined under the legislation as either "black", "coloured" or "Indian") player was eligible to play Test cricket for South Africa.[55]

The anti-apartheid movement led the ICC to impose a moratorium on tours in 1970.[56] This decision excluded players such as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter from partaking in international Test Cricket. It would also cause the emigration of future stars like, Basil D'Oliveira, Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who both played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia, before returning to South Africa. World class cricketers of their day like Clive Rice, Vintcent van der Bijl also never played Test Cricket despite their first class records.

The South African team at The Oval in August 2008.

The ICC reinstated South Africa as a Test nation in 1991, and the team played its first sanctioned international match since 1970 (and its first ever One-Day International) against India in Calcutta on 10 November 1991. South Africa's first Test match after re-admission was played against the West Indies in April 1992. The match was played in Bridgetown, Barbados and South Africa lost by 52 runs.

Since South Africa have been reinstated they have achieved mixed success, and hosted the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup in 2003. However, it is widely believed[57] the sides containing the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Gary Kirsten and Hansie Cronje grossly underachieved, gaining a reputation as "chokers", due to them reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup four times, but failing to progress into the finals. In the second part of the 1990s, South Africa had the highest winning percentage in ODIs of any team, but they were knocked out of the 1996 World Cup in the quarter-finals, and then were eliminated on countback after tying their semi-final against Australia in 1999. In 2003, South Africa were one of the favourites but were eliminated by one run in the group stages after they had mistakenly counted the number of runs they needed.

They have also had bad press for failing in vital matches in global tournaments including the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20.[58]

With Donald retiring, Cronje banned for match-fixing and later killed in a plane crash, and Pollock also retiring from international cricket, the team once again changed shape. Graeme Smith was made captain, although following injuries to Smith and Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince deputised as Test captain on 12 July 2006. At the age of 29, he became the first non-white man to captain the once all-white South African cricket team. Although that racial quota policy, was rescinded in 2007,[59] a new rule passed in 2016 stated that the team had to have an average minimum of six Black players, of which two must be Black African, in matches over the season.[60]

With the addition of class players such as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, the South African Cricket team started rising in the ICC rankings. After many of the major players in the Australian side that had dominated the early 2000s had retired, the number one place in the ICC Test Championship was a wide open race, with India and England having short stints as the number one side. South Africa toured England in 2012 for a three Test series with the winner assured of being the world No. 1. South Africa went on to take the series comfortably 2–0 and claim the top spot in the rankings, a position they have held onto for over a full calendar year.[61]

In February 2014 South Africa took on Australia in a Test series, with the winner being ranked No. 1 team in the world. Australia won the series 2-1.[62] South Africa later in the year would regain the No. 1 ranking. As of 20 March 2016 South Africa are ranked 3rd in Test Cricket.[63]

During this time of dominance in the Test arena, the ODI and T20I performances were far less consistent, as South Africa search for a winning formula ahead of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. A notable ODI series loss to New Zealand at home in January 2013, and a further loss in Sri Lanka highlighted South Africa's recent difficulties. Exits from the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy only served to improve South Africa's reputation as 'chokers' in major tournaments. In the latter years of Smith's career, South Africa split the captaincy in the shorter forms of the game, with the ODI side being led by AB de Villiers and the T20I side by Faf du Plessis. After Smith's retirement, Hashim Amla was appointed captain of the test side, leading his side to victory in his first test in charge, in Galle in Sri Lanka.


South Africa has a record of failing to win major tournaments and is much-maligned because of this. The 1992 Cricket World Cup, for example, featured a rain-affected semi-final played before the introduction of the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule. South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when rain intervened. After the delay they were left in the situation of requiring 22 runs from one ball to progress. In 1996 they were eliminated in the quarter-finals despite being one of the fancied teams and having qualified first in their group.In 1999 South Africa lost in the semi final to eventual champions Australia. The match ended in a tie both South Africa and Australia managing 213 but Australia advanced to the Final as Australia finished higher than South Africa in the group.

South Africa hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, but failed to progress beyond the group stage due to a misunderstanding of how many runs they needed to score in a rain-affected run chase. As a result of this, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and was replaced by young batsman Graeme Smith, although Pollock continued to play for the team. Under Smith's leadership, South Africa has achieved some success, although they have been hampered by the retirements of many star players, including fast bowler Allan Donald and one-day specialist Jonty Rhodes. As a result, they had a poor 2004, only winning against the Windies.

In the 2007 Cricket World Cup they had a rollercoaster ride that included dominant wins over England, the West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, and a narrow win over Sri Lanka, but devastating losses to Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh that cost them the No. 1 ranking. Then they bowed out in the semi-finals with their lowest ever score in a World Cup as Australia bowled them out for 149 and won by 7 wickets.

In the 2011 World Cup, South Africa topped Group B with the distinction of bowling out every side they played within the 50 over limit, which also included a famous victory over hosts India. In the quarter final they were beaten by New Zealand after suffering a dramatic collapse and losing eight wickets for 68 runs.

Even after many setbacks, their biggest heartbreak was awaiting them in the 2015 World cup semi final where they lost to the tournament runners up New Zealand in a rain affected tie. Batting first South Africa posted 281-5 and set a revised target of 298 to New Zealand, thanks to an amazing batting performance by Faf du Plessis, David Miller and captain AB de Villiers. Chasing a mammoth target of 298 New Zealand got off to a flier inspired by their captain Brendon McCullum. But the real hero of the match Grant Elliott who scored 84* including to a second last ball six off world best bowler Dale Steyn. This saw South Africa crash out of the 2015 World Cup despite playing some fantastic cricket throughout the entire tournament. This loss was probably the most heartbreaking for South Africa to New Zealand in the semi final which saw each and every South African player get emotional in the post match presentation. Although South Africa lost in this match they won hearts of every cricket fan as they won their first Knockout match in the World Cup Quarter final against Sri Lanka. After a good world cup South Africa went on to dominate ODI cricket in bilateral series which saw the Proteas rise to No. 1 in the ICC ODI Championship.

They also hold the record of the highest successful run chase and made the highest total (the latter record has been surpassed) in One-Day Internationals (438–9 in 49.5 overs), in an iconic match against Australia on 12 March 2006. This game is considered by many to be the greatest One-Day International ever played.

South Africa beat Netherlands by 231 runs in Mohali in Group matches in ICC World Cup 2011, The 231-run win is the fourth largest margin of victory for any team in World Cups and the largest for South Africa in World Cups. It is also the second largest margin of victory for South Africa in ODIs on 3 March 2011.[64] The 87-run stand between JP Duminy and Colin Ingram is the highest for the sixth wicket for South Africa in World Cups. The highest sixth-wicket stand for South Africa in ODIs is the 137 between Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock against Zimbabwe in 1997. The triumph is South Africa's seventh by a fringe of hundred or more runs in World Cups.[65]


Test matches

One Day Internationals

T20 Internationals

International grounds

Locations of all stadiums which have hosted an international cricket match within South Africa

Tournament history

Commonwealth Games

Team colours

South Africa's kit is manufactured by New Balance, who replaced previous manufacturer Adidas in 2016. When playing Test cricket, South Africa's cricket whites feature the king protea badge (the emblem of the South African Sports Commission) with the South African flag above it on the left of the shirt, the name and logo of the sponsors Standard Bank on the right, the New Balance logo on the right sleeve. South Africa fielders may wear a green cap or a white sun hat with the king protea badge in the middle. Helmets are also coloured green. Before 1996, the cap insignia was the United Cricket Board of South Africa old badge, which was a circle with a ball superimposed over a wicket in the center and the inscription which reads "UNITED CRICKET BOARD OF SOUTH AFRICA" around the circle's border.

In limited overs cricket, South Africa's ODI and Twenty20 shirts feature the king protea badge with the national flag on the left of the shirt, Standard Bank on the right side and the New Balance logo on the right sleeve. In ODIs, the kit comprises a green shirt with yellow accents and dark green stylised protea leaves and green trousers, whilst the Twenty20 kit comprises a green shirt with a yellow gradient and the Oxigen logo in the front and green trousers. In both uniforms, the fielding hat is a green baseball cap with white piping and a yellow line on the visor border or a green sunhat, which are both green with the king protea badge. In ICC limited-overs tournaments, a modified kit design is used with sponsor's logos moving to the sleeve and 'South Africa' printed across the front.

Since 2016, South Africa played some matches with an all-pink version of its uniform, in order to raise breast cancer awareness.

Previous suppliers were ISC (1992-1996), Asics (1999), Admiral (2000-2003), Hummel (2004-2007) and Adidas (2011-2015).

Until 2016, the sponsor was Castle Lager.


This is a list of every active player to have played for South Africa in the last year (since 24 October 2016), and the forms of the game in which they have played. Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott have also played for the national side in that period, but have taken up Kolpak deals in England, which rules them out of selection for the national side.

For the 2017–18 season Cricket South Africa awarded 21 players national contracts, from which selectors choose the core of the Test, One-Day and Twenty20 International teams.[66] Non-contracted players remain eligible for selection and can be upgraded to a Cricket South Africa contract if they gain regular selection.

Name Age Batting style Bowling style Domestic team Forms S/N Contract Notes
Hashim Amla 34 Right-handed Right-arm medium Cape Cobras Test, ODI, T20I 1 National Top-order Batsman
Faf du Plessis 33 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Titans Test, ODI, T20I 18 National Captain, Middle-order Batsman
Temba Bavuma 27 Right-handed Right-arm medium Lions Test, ODI 11 National Middle-order Batsman
Stephen Cook 35 Right-handed Right-arm medium Lions Test National Opening Batsman
Theunis de Bruyn 25 Right-handed Right-arm off break Knights Test, T20I
Dean Elgar 30 Left-handed Left arm orthodox Knights Test 64 National Opening Batsman
Reeza Hendricks 28 Right-handed Right-arm medium-fast Lions T20I 77 Opening Batsman
Heino Kuhn 33 Right-handed Titans Test, T20I Wicket-keeper, Opening Batsman
Aiden Markram 23 Right-handed Right-arm off break Titans Test, ODI 4 Opening Batsman
David Miller 28 Left-handed Right-arm off break Dolphins ODI, T20I 10 National Middle-order Batsman
AB de Villiers 34 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans Test, ODI, T20I 17 National
Quinton de Kock 25 Left-handed Lions Test, ODI, T20I 12 National
Mangaliso Mosehle 27 Right-handed Titans T20I
All rounders
Farhaan Behardien 34 Right-handed Right-arm medium Titans ODI, T20I 28 National
Robert Frylinck 33 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Dolphins T20I 83
JP Duminy 33 Left-handed Right-arm off break Cape Cobras ODI, T20I 21 National
Wiaan Mulder 20 Right-handed Right-arm medium Lions ODI
Chris Morris 30 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Titans Test, ODI, T20I 2 National
Wayne Parnell 28 Left-handed Left arm medium-fast Warriors Test, ODI, T20I 7 National
Vernon Philander 32 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Cape Cobras Test 24 National
Dwaine Pretorius 28 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Lions ODI, T20I 29
Andile Phehlukwayo 21 Left-handed Right-arm fast-medium Dolphins Test, ODI, T20I 23 National
JJ Smuts 29 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Warriors T20I
Fast Bowlers
Morné Morkel 33 Left-handed Right-arm fast Titans Test, ODI, T20I 65 National
Lungi Ngidi 21 Right-handed Right-arm medium-fast Titans Test, T20I
Duanne Olivier 25 Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium Knights Test
Dane Paterson 28 Right-handed Right arm fast Cape Cobras T20I
Kagiso Rabada 22 Left-handed Right-arm fast Lions Test, ODI 25 National
Dale Steyn 34 Right-handed Right-arm fast Cape Cobras Test 8 National
Beuran Hendricks 27 Right-handed Left arm fast-medium Cape Cobras T20I
Spin Bowlers
Keshav Maharaj 28 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Dolphins Test, ODI 16 National
Aaron Phangiso 34 Right-handed Left arm orthodox Lions T20I 69 National
Tabraiz Shamsi 28 Right-handed Left arm unorthodox Dolphins Test, ODI, T20I 26 National
Imran Tahir 38 Right-handed Right-arm leg break Lions ODI, T20I 99 National

Former and current players

National captains

Coaching staff

See also


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  6. ^ "ODI matches - 2018 Team records". ESPNcricinfo. 
  7. ^ "T20I matches - Team records". ESPNcricinfo. 
  8. ^ "T20I matches - 2018 Team records". ESPNcricinfo. 
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  59. ^ South Africa Remove Racial Quotas 7 November 2007 BBC Sport
  60. ^ South Africa introduces racial quotas for national team with minimum of six black players to be selected 4 September 2016 Daily Mail
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  66. ^ "CSA announces National Contracts squads for 2017/18". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 

External links

  • United Cricket Board of South Africa
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