Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Shukri Conrad confident Proteas will bear no scars on return to West Indies

The Proteas T20 team lost the World Cup final just a few weeks ago, also in the Caribbean.

Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad is confident his players will be over the heartache of the T20 World Cup final loss, suffered against India, in the Caribbean when his team tour there next month.

Under white-ball coach Rob Walter, the Proteas T20 team suffered a seven-run loss to India in the T20 World Cup final on June 29 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados – the team’s first showing in a final of a major ICC tournament.

The Proteas, captained by Aiden Markram, were well set in their run-chase to reach 177, needing 30 runs to win from the final 30 balls, with six wickets in hand, but lost by seven runs.

The Proteas Test team, captained by Temba Bavuma and including several of the players who were involved in that final less than a month ago, will be back in the West Indies next month for two Tests – in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The Proteas will be spared going to Barbados.

Shukri Conrad and Kruger van Wyk
SA Test team coach Shukri Conrad and assistant Kruger van Wyk chat during a recent training camp at the Centre of Excellence in Pretoria. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Proteas back in the Caribbean

Conrad said earlier this week, when he named a 16-man squad for the tour, that he had yet to speak to any of his players about the final loss.

“Let’s not go back to a couple of Saturdays ago,” said Conrad when quizzed about the prospect of returning to the Caribbean.

“We’ll see how the guys pull up (at training and when they get together for the tour). I haven’t reached out to anyone yet. Some of them are at the MLC (Major League Cricket in the USA) and the others will be in camp (in Durban) next week. We’ll catch up then.

“I didn’t want to have any conversations with any players just yet, but rather give the players some space to deal with the … trauma is a strong word … disappointment of the final.

“We’ll now move onto a different colour ball (white to red). If we need to tap into the psychological side of things then we’ll do that, but I’m sure everyone will be okay.”

The players in the Test squad who were part of the T20 World Cup group are Markram, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tristan Stubbs and Ryan Rickelton.

The Test squad will get together in Trinidad and Tobago on July 27, with the players competing in the MLC joining on July 29. The Tests start on August 7 and 15 respectively.

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