Markram “gutted” after final defeat to India

You are currently viewing Markram “gutted” after final defeat to India
  • Post published:June 30, 2024

South Africa captain Aiden Markram says he was “gutted” after the Proteas suffered a seven-run defeat to India in the T20 World Cup final.

The Proteas’ triumph over Afghanistan on Wednesday put an end to a record of seven semi-final defeats in both short-form disciplines, and they came agonisingly close to winning their first World Cup.

Before India’s ‘death’ bowlers turned the tide, Heinrich Klaasen’s explosive 52 off 27 balls—which included five sixes and two fours—put South Africa in position to win.

“Obviously gutted. It will take some time for us to reflect on this. We’ve had a great campaign but for the time being, this hurts. I am so proud of all my players and everyone involved in this team,” said Markram.

“We bowled very well, the pitch didn’t give them much to work with. We thought it was a chaseable total. It was a great game of cricket, I’m chuffed with all my guys, it’s hard not to get over the line but I’ll always be proud of them,” he said.

“We’ve seen that it’s not over until the last ball for a lot of our games. It changed quickly at the end there. But we were in a great position. We know we could’ve won the game,” he added.

Markram expressed his pride at his team’s tenacity and determination to succeed, which they had displayed throughout their undefeated journey to the championship game.

“One thing you can guarantee from South African people is that they are competitive, but they are respectful. We pride ourselves on that. Hopefully moving forward we can learn from this and use it.

“This will always be a proud day for us, regardless,” he said.

The Champions Trophy championship won in 1998 remains the sole significant honour awarded to South Africa in the sport, and Markram stated it was too soon to consider the campaign’s advantages in depth.

“To get to our first final, it’s something we can be proud of. Still, in our eyes, it’s not good enough. You’re not satisfied with making a final,” he said.

“I think it’ll take a bit of time for us to reflect back on all the good things that we’ve done, but obviously for the time being, it’s just hurts a lot,” he said.

Before the game, Markram had mentioned the special camaraderie among the squad members that created a “extreme hunger” for win and that it would take time to recover from the loss.

“Its just gut wrenching – that’s really what it is. Each player has been on a different individual journey to get to this first final.

“Ultimately you become really tight as a group and you want good things to happen to this group because you know they’re great people and when you get really close like that.

“The nature of how the game went, obviously adds to the emotions and it’s one of those things but we can channel it moving forward but I think next couple of days you let it be, you let yourself feel the way you want to feel and then really start reflecting in a positive manner.

“Hopefully it’s one step closer. It’s tournament cricket, it’s tough cricket, it’s not easy to win trophies and you’ve got to take your hats off to a team like India for lifting the trophy.

“Hopefully moving forward we can get that first win and it can be a snowball effect of quite a few to come,” he said.

Photo by Deepak Malik/Shutterstock