9 March 2015
South African umpire Johan Cloete officiated in his 50th one-day international (ODI) match on Sunday when hosts New Zealand took on Afghanistan at McLean Park in Napier at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Cloete and his South African colleague Marais Erasmus were the standing umpires in a match which saw New Zealand win by six wickets.
“I can’t imagine a better way for Johan to celebrate this well-deserved achievement than by officiating in a World Cup match,” said Haroom Larogat, CSA’s chief executive, congratulating Cloete on this “umpiring landmark”.
“The fact that he will be standing together with Marais Erasmus makes it even more special, and not just for the two of them, but for our country as well. We can indeed be proud of the recognition our match officials are attaining.”
It is Cloete’s first World Cup. “Twenty-three years ago I was watching the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as a young student in Potch. I then decided to give it my best shot to officiate at this level. New Zealand is a great place and I have enjoyed every moment.
“When I did my first ODI in November 2009, I decided to take it one match at a time and develop at this level. It never occurred to me that I would reach this magic number or achieve it at a World Cup,” Cloete said.
Meanwhile, Castle Lager Proteas captain AB de Villiers has rued the lack of partnerships during crucial situations in his team’s 29-run (D/L Method) loss to Pakistan at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Proteas batsmen squandered a good start in pursuit of a reachable target, but lost wickets at regular intervals in their chase.
“I’m not sure,” De Villiers said of the reason behind his team’s poor record batting second. “It’s a disappointing loss. We didn’t get enough partnerships during the pressure situations. We have done it in the past but unfortunately tonight we couldn’t do that. I felt that Pakistan wanted it more than us. There is nothing wrong with the batting, it’s a matter of urgency and being prepared to fight it out,” De Villiers said on Saturday.
Despite being the only stand-out performer, De Villiers said he believed the rest of the line-up is more than capable of pulling off chases under pressure.
“I have full faith in the abilities of the players around me, that is why they are all here,” he said. “I know I can’t win this World Cup alone, there is no way, I need my team mates and I know they have the capabilities to do that. It’s a matter of pulling together as a side and moving forward as a unit.”
The Proteas can still finish in second place in their group by virtue of net run-rate and will want to look ahead to a strong finish in their last group match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Wellington.
“Hopefully we have four games left in this World Cup and still an opportunity to lift the trophy,” he said. “We have an opportunity to fix things and to play a good game against the UAE which will help us go into the quarter-finals with a fresh mind-set and belief.”
South Africa faces UAE on Thursday at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Game starts at 3am local time.
WORLD CUP MATCHES
- 15 February, 3am: South Africa beat Zimbabwe.
- 22 February, 5.30am: India beat South Africa.
- 27 February, 5.30am: South beat West Indies.
- 3 March, 5.30am: South Africa beat Ireland.
- 7 March, 3am: Pakistan beat South Africa.
- 12 March, 3am: South Africa v United Arab Emirates. Westpac Stadium, Wellington
- 18 March, 5.30am: Sydney Cricket Ground
- 19 March, 5.30am: Melbourne Cricket Ground
- 20 March, 5.30am: Adelaide Oval
- 21 March, 3am: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
- 24 March, 3am: Eden Park, Auckland
- 26 March, 5.30am: Sydney Cricket Ground
- 29 March, 5.30am: Melbourne Cricket Ground