London, 20 JUNE: South Africa cricket coach Gary Kirsten admitted his team deserved the tag of chokers after crashing to a seven-wicket defeat by England in the Champions Trophy semi-final on Wednesday. "We need to be honest with ourselves. I think we did choke again today," Kirsten said after the disappointing one-sided game at the Oval that lifted England into their second Champions Trophy final.
"It’s a horrible word but we have to front up. We let ourselves down today." It was the first time a South African coach had publicly accepted what was widely believed in the rest of the cricket world — that the Proteas faltered in crunch games.
South Africa, top-ranked in Tests and formidable opponents in world cricket, have struggled to get past the semi-final stage in major one-day tournaments since winning the inaugural version of the Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998.
Kirsten, the former South African opener who ends his two-year term as coach with Wednesday’s match, said he had expected his team to perform better in the semi-final. "To be blown away with the bat with the quality of batsmen we have got in our batting line-up is very disappointing. There has definitely been an inconsistency to our cricket. When we play in big tournaments like this, we do get exposed." afp