T20 World Cup: 'This SA team is different, we own what is ours', says Rob Walter ahead of semis

by IANS |

Port of Spain (Trinidad), June 26 (IANS) As South Africa prepares to face Afghanistan on Thursday in the 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal, head coach Rob Walter is steering his team away from the ghosts of past knockout failures.

Speaking ahead of the crucial semifinal, Walter said the current squad is a fresh entity, unburdened by the disappointments that have haunted Proteas men in previous ODI and T20 World Cups.

"The near misses in the past, they belong to the people who missed them. This team is a different team. We own whatever is ours to own. Our nearest reflection point is this tournament where we've managed to get over the line. So that's what we think about," Walter stated at the pre-match press conference.

South Africa's reputation for faltering in high-stakes matches is a well-documented saga, but Walter insists that his players are ready to embrace the pressure and the emotions that come with it.

"I think there's always an energy that you can feel that's tangible when it comes to a semi-final. There'll be a mixture of emotions which is with anxiety but excitement. Anyone in any sport, if they get to this phase of a competition, feels that. And so really, it's just acknowledging that and accepting it and then just understanding what you'll do with that. We still want to play our best cricket in the key moments of the game tomorrow," he said.

South Africa and Afghanistan will be hoping to reach the finals of an ICC Men’s tournament for the first time when the two sides lock horns in the first semifinal at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad on Thursday.

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