Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist


History on the line: Proteas ‘hungry’ for maiden World Cup title

Aiden Markram says the national team are eager to go one step further by beating the world's top-ranked side.


Just hours away from one of the most important matches in the history of South African cricket, Proteas captain Aiden Markram says the players understand the magnitude of the task at hand on Saturday afternoon as they prepare for their T20 World Cup final clash against India in Barbados (4.30pm SA time).

Having broken new ground earlier this week by reaching the SA men’s cricket team’s first World Cup final, the Proteas have already proved their worth.

Markram, however, said they were eager to go one step further by beating the world’s top-ranked side, and the individuals in the national squad were motivated to lift the trophy.

“In general, sportsmen are highly competitive people and nobody would want to lose, and especially not lose in a final,” Markram said.

“So I think there’s no sense that the guys are satisfied… and I think there’s still a massive hunger for us to go out and win the game.”

‘Going in the right direction’

Despite having done as well as they have in the tournament, after winning eight matches on the trot, Markram said they had taken little time to celebrate their victories thus far.

And while they still had a mountain to climb against a powerful India side, he was pleased with what his team had achieved, and he hoped they would have another reason to celebrate at the end of the tournament by stunning the title favourites.

Regardless of the results in Saturday’s final, however, he felt they had already silenced the SA squad’s critics by ending one of the lengthiest droughts in South African sport.

“I think after the competition, we’ll sit back and really appreciate what we’ve achieved so far as a team,” the skipper said.

“Whether we win or lose we’ve gone a step further at least, and for us that’s going in the right direction.

“But yeah, we’d love to win that first final, and hopefully in the years to come that can break the burden of what a lot of other people are saying about us as a team.”

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