Thursday, July 25, 2024

SA20 League: Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter praises Betway SA20 role in team’s success

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Photo Credit: SA20 League

Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter has paid tribute to Betway SA20 for the role it’s played in the development of the national team over the past two years.

The Proteas progressed to the ODI World Cup semi-final in Kolkata last year where they fell short against eventual champions Australia.

They went even further at the recent T20 World Cup in the US and Caribbean, breaking new ground in qualifying for a first-ever World Cup final.

This was in contrast to the Proteas not contesting a knockout match at a major ICC tournament since 2015.

The upturn in the Proteas’ white-ball fortunes coinciding with the first two seasons of Betway SA20 has not been lost on Walter.

“A quality tournament like SA20 gets young guys playing in front of big crowds and that creates its own pressure,” Walter said.

“The quality of internationals playing in the team with you, learning from them, and also playing against them, your standard of your play has to improve.

“The success of the side has to be credited to the players. They have developed their skill set that stands up under pressure.

“And you feel pressure more when your skillset can’t meet the task to market. SA20 has contributed to that because players’ skill has had to rise.”

Although not ultimately crossing the line in the final against India at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the Proteas have discovered a refreshing attitude that has seen them win a host of fiercely-contested matches recently.

“The team has achieved great things in a short time. We have progressed. This World Cup showed that, you look at the small moments this team won, which in the past hasn’t gone our way,” Walter said.

“There was resilience, a great skill set and we showed great versatility. The team is continuing to grow. We’ve made strides, but by no means are we the finished article.”

Walter feels that South Africa’s premier domestic T20 competition also has a big role to play in developing the burgeoning talent bubbling just below the Proteas first-choice squad.

“For the next in line is to catch up, we need to give them more cricket in order to grow, and the SA20 assists with that because it’s a good competition,” he said.

The Proteas’ next T20I assignment is against the West Indies in a three-match series set to get underway next month in the Caribbean.

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