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 India National Cricket Team

South Africa Cricket Team: History, Match Schedule, Honors and Statistics


The South African men's national cricket team represents South Africa in international cricket. Nicknamed the Proteas, South Africa entered international cricket when they hosted England in 1888–89. By the 1960s, there was considerable opposition to the country's apartheid policy. The ICC imposed an international ban on the team, and as a result, the team did not play any international cricket until 1991.

The team has mostly been strong since the ban was lifted in 1991 and has also held the No.1 ranking in international cricket in different formats at different times. South Africa is one of the most successful teams in ODI cricket, winning more than 60 percent of their matches. As of January 2021, the South Africa team is ranked 6th in Test cricket, 5th in ODIs and the T20Is. The current captain of the team across all formats of the game is Quinton de Kock.

Timeline

Early Years

Cricket came to South Africa in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars when the British forces occupied South Africa. The first match recorded was played in 1808 in Cape Town between two service teams, for a prize of one thousand rix-dollars. The oldest cricket club in South Africa is the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, founded in 1843. Only a few cricket clubs in the world can boast such a long existence. The first championship was held in Port Elizabeth in 1876 for the "champion bat." The competing teams were Cape Town, Grahamstown, King Williams Town, and Port Elizabeth. It was won by King Williams Town, who won the championship the next year too.

In 1888, Sir Donald Currie sponsored England, the first visiting team to the South African shores. Two Test matches were played between the teams, with England winning both the games. However with this series, South Africa became a recognized contestant in international cricket along with England and Australia. The tour also marked the beginning of Test cricket in South Africa.

In 1889, South Africa became the third Test-playing nation when they played against England at Port Elizabeth. Owen Robert Dunell was the captain of the South Africa team. However, it was not considered an official Test match until South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference (now ICC) along with England and Australia in 1906. South Africa's early Test record remains the worst among all current Test-playing nations, with 10 defeats and just a single draw in their first 11 Tests. It was not until 1904 that South Africa began to emerge as a quality international team. They recorded their first Test win against England in 1906, 17 years after the former’s first Test match.

Emergence as a Quality Cricket Team

In the early 1900s, the first world-class South African cricket team emerged, comprising stars like Bonnor Middleton, Jimmy Sinclair (the batsman with the highest strike rate in Test history), Charlie Llewellyn, Aubrey Faulkner (often regarded as the greatest all-rounder in the pre-First World War period), and Reggie Schwarz (regarded as the inventor of the googly). These players together began to take South Africa to unprecedented heights in Test cricket.

Australia toured South Africa in 1902, with an extremely strong squad comprising many prominent members of “The Golden Age of Australian Cricket” such as Victor Trumper, Monty Noble, Reggie Duff, Warwick Armstrong, and Ernie Jones. Though South Africa lost the 3-match Test series by 2–0, they avoided defeat for the first time by drawing the first game at Johannesburg, thanks to some outstanding performances.

In 1906, England toured South Africa for a 5-match official Test series. The touring English side was a second-string team. Nevertheless, South Africa were still not favorites going into the series. However, in a shocking result of the first Test, played at Johannesburg, the hosts defeated England by 1 wicket, thereby recording their first Test win. South Africa then defeated England by 9 wickets in the second Test, and registered a massive 243-run win in the third Test at the same venue. After losing the fourth Test, South Africa won the fifth Test by an innings and 16 runs at Cape Town to secure a 4–1 series win against England. The series is widely recognized as the one that heralded the arrival of South Africa as a major force in international cricket.

South Africa toured Australia for the first time in 1910–11. Although Australia won the 5-match Test series 4–1, South Africa made history by recording their first-ever overseas Test victory, as well as their maiden Test victory against Australia in the third Test at the Adelaide Oval. Herbie Taylor was named captain of the South Africa team to face off against the visiting English team in 1913–14, in what would prove South Africa's last international cricket series before the First World War.

Post World War I

After World War I, Australia became the first international team to make an official tour to South Africa in 1921–22. The first two Tests at Durban and Johannesburg were drawn, with Australia winning the series 1–0 after registering a 10-wicket victory over South Africa in the third Test at Cape Town.

England toured South Africa in 1922–23 for a 5-match series. With the series still level at 1–1, unlimited time was allowed for the fifth and final Test to ensure a winner of the series. The match took place at Durban from 3 to 14 March 1938. The game had to be abandoned, with England at 654 for 5 wickets in the last innings, in order for the touring team to catch the mail-boat back to home.

After that, South Africa underwent somewhat of a barren period for the next two decades. However, the emergence of a new generation of cricketers once again ensured that South Africa became a top-quality international team. The team's leading batsmen during this era were Bruce Mitchell, Dudley Nourse, Eric Rowan, Alan Melville, and Pieter van der Bijl. Nourse became famous for his hand-eye coordination and his excellent fielding, one of many to be produced by South Africa in the coming decades.

International Ban

After World War II, South Africa continued to play regular series against England, Australia and New Zealand until 1970. In their 1963/64 tour of Australia, South Africa’s most talented cricketers, the Pollock brothers, Peter and Graeme, Eddie Barlow and Colin Bland, emerged.

From 1970 onward, South Africa was isolated from the rest of the cricketing world for 21 years because of the country’s apartheid laws. Isolation came at a time when the country could fairly claim to be the top Test-playing nation in the world after they had easily beaten Australia 4-0. This ban kept players such as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter away from international Test cricket for most of their careers.

The ban also caused the emigration of star cricketers such as Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who both played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia before returning to South Africa. World class cricketers of their day such as Clive Rice and Vintcent van der Bijl also never played Test Cricket, despite their strong first-class records, because of the ban.

Readmission to World Cricket

South Africa was readmitted to world cricket in 1991 by the ICC and was allowed to face all opponents. India was the first nation to host the “new” South African team in Calcutta on 10 November 1991. South Africa lost this Test match by 3 wickets. After an initial settling-in period, the team adapted surprisingly quickly to the demands of the international game in 1991. They quickly established a reputation as a superb fielding team, which was soon backed up by their bowling attack and later by their batting line-up too. In very little time, the Proteas became one of the elite teams of world cricket.

South Africa made their debut at the World Cup in 1992 and went all the way to the semi-finals, before falling victim to a controversial rule for matches delayed by rain. They were knocked out of the 1996 World Cup in the quarter-finals by the West Indies. At the 1999 World Cup, Australia and South Africa played in one of the greatest matches of all time as they tied their World Cup semi-final, after Allan Donald was run-out in the final over with the Proteas needing one run for victory. Their most noted and only international trophy to this date is their win in the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998. The team also won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held in 1998.

Match-Fixing Controversy and World Cup Disappointment

In October 2000, Hansie Cronje, the then captain of the South African team, was banned from playing or coaching cricket for life after being found guilty of match fixing. He was tragically killed in a plane crash on 1 June 2002. He continues to remain a national sporting hero of the South African cricket fans.

South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2003 and entered the tournament with high hopes of becoming the first nation to win the biggest cricket event on home soil. Unfortunately for the home fans, the Proteas disappointed and crashed out of the tournament in the first round. Allan Doland and Shaun Pollock retired after the tournament.

In 2003, a young Greame Smith was made the captain of the team. With the addition of high-class players such as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, South Africa started rising in the ICC rankings. The Proteas hold the record of the largest successful run chase and the second-highest team total in ODIs (438-9 in 49.5 overs), which came in an iconic match against Australia on 12 March 2006. This game is considered by many to be the greatest ODI match ever played. However, South Africa failed to deliver once again in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

No. 1 Test Ranking Across Formats and the “Chokers” Tag

South Africa toured England in 2012 for a 3-Test series, with the winner assured of becoming No. 1 in Test rankings. South Africa went on to win the series comfortably by 2–0 and claim the top spot in the rankings, a position they retained for over a full calendar year from 20 August 2012. Eight days later, on 28 August 2012, South Africa became the first team to top the rankings in all three formats of the game.

During this time of dominance in the Test arena, South Africa’s ODI and T20I performance was far less consistent as the team searched for a winning formula in ICC events. Exits from the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup only served to add to South Africa's reputation as ”chokers” in major tournaments. In fact, South Africa are regarded by many as the best team yet to win the Cricket World Cup.

Cricket Match Schedule

Find out all about the biggest international series and cricket match schedule of the South African cricket team.

More Series Coming Soon

Tournament Records

World Cup

Year Position
1992 Semi-finalists
1996 Quarter-finalists
1999 Semi-finalists
2003 Group stage
2007 Semi-finalists
2011 Quarter-finalists
2015 Semi-finalists
2019 Group stage

T20 World Cup

Year Position
2007 Super 8s
2009 Semi-finalists
2010 Super 8s
2012 Super 8s
2014 Semi-finalists
2016 Super 10s

Champions Trophy

Year Position
1998 Championss
2000 Semi-finalists
2002 Semi-finalists
2004 Group stage
2006 Semi-finalists
2009 Group stage
2013 Semi-finalists
2017 Group stage

Trophy Honors

Champions Trophy

Winner: 1998

Fantasy Cricket

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Cricket Match Statistics

Test

Opponent Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied
Australia 98 26 52 20 0
Bangladesh 12 10 0 2 0
England 153 34 64 55 0
India 39 15 14 10 0
New Zealand 45 25 4 16 0
Pakistan 28 15 6 7 0
Sri Lanka 31 16 9 6 0
West Indies 28 18 3 7 0
Zimbabwe 9 8 0 1 0
Total 443 167 152 124 0
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Jacques Kallis 165 13206 55.25 224 45
Hashim Amla 124 9282 46.64 311* 28
Greame Smith 116 9253 48.7 277 27
AB de Villiers 114 8765 50.66 278* 22
Gary Kirsten 101 7289 45.27 275 21
Herchelle Gibbs 90 6167 41.95 228 14
Mark Boucher 146 5498 30.54 125 5
Daryl Cullinan 70 4554 44.21 275* 14
Dean Elgar 67 4260 39.81 199 13
Faf du Plessis 69 4163 40.02 199 10
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 10W/5W
Dale Steyn 93 439 22.95 7/51 5/26
Shaun Pollock 108 421 23.11 7/87 1/16
Makhaya Ntini 101 390 28.82 7/37 4/18
Allan Donald 72 330 22.25 8/71 3/20
Morne Morkel 86 309 27.66 6/23 0/8
Jacques Kallis 165 291 32.63 6/54 0/5
Vernon Philander 64 224 22.32 6/21 2/13
Kagiso Rabada 45 202 23.36 7/112 4/9
Hugh Tayfield 37 170 25.91 9/113 2/14
Paul Adams 45 134 32.87 7/128 1/4

ODIs

Opponent Matches Won Lost Tied No Result
Afghanistan 1 1 0 0 0
Australia 103 51 48 3 1
Bangladesh 21 17 4 0 0
England 63 30 28 1 4
India 84 46 35 0 3
Ireland 5 5 0 0 0
New Zealand 71 41 25 0 5
Pakistan 79 50 28 0 1
Sri Lanka 77 46 29 1 1
West Indies 62 44 15 1 2
Zimbabwe 41 38 2 0 1
Total 607 369 214 6 18
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Jacques Kallis 323 11550 45.11 139 17
AB de Villiers 223 9427 54.17 176 25
Hashim Amla 181 8113 49.46 159 27
Herschelle Gibbs 248 8094 36.13 175 21
Greame Smith 196 6989 38.19 141 10
Gary Kirsten 185 6798 40.95 188* 13
Jonty Rhodes 245 5935 35.11 121 2
Hansie Cronje 188 5565 38.64 112 2
Faf du Plessis 143 5507 47.47 185 12
Quinton de Kock 121 5135 44.65 178 15
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
Shaun Pollock 294 387 24.31 6/35 5/12
Allan Donald 164 272 21.78 6/23 2/11
Jacques Kallis 323 269 31.85 5/30 2/2
Makhaya Ntini 172 265 24.53 6/22 4/8
Dale Steyn 123 194 26 6/39 3/4
Lance Klusener 171 192 29.95 6/49 6/1
Morne Morkel 114 180 25.52 5/21 2/7
Imran Tahir 107 173 24.83 7/45 3/7
Kagiso Rabada 75 117 27.34 6/16 1/6
Hansie Cronje 188 114 34.78 5/32 1/1

T20Is

Opponent Matches Won Lost No Result
Afghanistan 2 2 0 0
Australia 21 8 13 0
Bangladesh 6 6 0 0
England 21 9 11 1
India 15 6 9 0
New Zealand 15 11 4 0
Pakistan 14 8 6 0
Sri Lanka 13 8 5 0
West Indies 10 6 4 0
Zimbabwe 5 5 0 0
Total 128 60 65 3
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s/50s
JP Duminy 81 1934 38.68 96* 0/11
AB de Villiers 78 1672 26.12 79* 0/10
Faf du Plessis 47 1466 36.65 119 1/10
David Miller 75 1368 29.73 101* 1/2
Quinton de Kock 47 1303 31.02 79* 0/6
HashimAmla 41 1158 32.16 97* 0/7
Greame Smith 33 982 31.67 89* 0/5
Jacques Kallis 25 666 35.05 73 0/5
Reeza Hendricks 25 636 25.44 74 0/4
Albie Morkel 50 572 21.18 43 0/0
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
Dale Steyn 47 64 18.35 4/9 0/2
Imran Tahir 35 61 14.08 5/23 2/2
Morne Morkel 41 46 23.84 4/17 0/2
Wayne Parnell 40 41 25.31 4/13 0/1
Johan Botha 40 37 22.24 3/16 0/0
Andile Phehlukwayo 27 35 19.94 4/24 0/1
Chris Morris 23 34 20.5 4/27 0/1
Kagiso Rabada 26 31 26.41 3/30 0/0
Lungi Ngidi 16 28 17.03 4/19 0/1
Kyle Abbott 21 26 22.26 3/20 0/0

Current Squad

Dean
Elgar

Aiden
Markram

Faf
du
Plessis

Rassie
van der
Dussen

Temba
Bavuma

Reeza
Hendricks

Janneman
Malan

David
Miller

Quinton
de
Kock

Heinrich
Klaasen

Kyle
Verreynne

Pite
van
Biljon

JJ
Smuts

Wiaan
Mulder

George
Linde

Dwaine
Pretorius

Andile
Phehlukwayo

Keshav
Maharaj

Tabraiz
Shamsi

Bjorn
Fortuin

Kagiso
Rabada

Anrich
Nortje

Lungi
Ngidi

Lutho
Sipamla

Junior
Dala

Beuran
Hendricks