About the Proteas

The Proteas have become one of the most successful brand names in the world of cricket since the national team was launched under that title at the birth of Cricket South Africa in 1991.

For an organization that is only 22 years old, the achievements have been quite staggering. For most of that period the Proteas have been at the top half of the ICC Test and ODI team rankings. They are currently the No. 1 ranked team in Tests and late in 2012, became the first team to have held all three No. 1 rankings simultaneously. They have a particularly outstanding record in Test cricket with successive away series wins against England in 2008 and 2012, successive drawn away series in India in 2008 and 2010 and becoming the first ever South African team to win away Test series in Australia in the 2008-09 season and in 2012.  

They have reached the semi-finals three times and the quarter-finals once in the six World Cups in which they have competed which underlines their successful consistency.

The Proteas also reached the semi-final of the World Twenty20 in 2009 and won the ICC Champions Trophy in 1998 and the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in the same year.

Graeme Smith, who has led South Africa since 2003, is the most successful South African captain of all time and is the most capped international captain of all time. He achieved the magnificent feat of playing in his 100th Test as captain in 2013, a true reflection of his contribution to South African cricket. During this period he has been able to maintain a batting average of 50 which is quite outstanding considering the leadership burden he has also had to handle. He gave up captaincy of the T20 squad in 2010 to Johan Botha and of the ODI squad in 2011. AB de Villiers is now the Proteas’ captain in both the limited overs formats.

The birth of the new South Africa has enabled the Proteas to expand their list of traditional rivals to include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Zimbabwe in addition to the ‘old foes’ from Australia, England and New Zealand. It has also given South Africa four new Test match venues at SuperSport Park (Centurion), Senwes Park (Potchefstroom), Buffalo Park (East London) and Chevrolet Park (Bloemfontein). In addition ODIs have been played at Boland Park (Paarl), De Beers Diamond Oval (Kimberley) and Willowmoore Park (Benoni).

A total of 80 players have been capped by CSA at Test match level, 104 at ODI level and 55 in the T20 format.

These players have totally re-written the record books of South African international cricket. Highlights have included two world batting partnerships (415 for the first wicket between Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie against Bangladesh and 195 for the ninth wicket between Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox against Pakistan). Eight of South Africa’s 10 wicket all-time partnership records have now been established under the banner of Cricket South Africa. Hashim Amla has become the first South African to score a treble century in Test cricket while Jacques Kallis is the second leading centurion of all time (44 centuries) behind Sachin Tendulkar and has scored more than 13 000 runs in Tests and 11 000 in ODI cricket. He has taken more than 250 wickets and 100 catches in both formats. He is unquestionably ranked alongside Sir Garfield Sobers as the greatest batting all-rounder of all time.

Boucher is the most successful wicketkeeper statistically the world has ever seen with more than 500 dismissals and 5 000 runs at Test match level. In all he has made 999 dismissals in international cricket. Since Boucher’s retirement, de Villiers has proven to be the ideal substitution behind the stumps, and in 2013, became the first player in the history of the game to take 11 catches and score a century in a match. He also equalled Jack Russell’s world record of 11 catches in a match.

Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Allan Donald and Dale Steyn are all in the world’s elite group of those who have taken 300 Test match wickets while Steyn is the only South Africans to have taken 10 wickets in a Test match on five occasions. Ntini is the only one to do so at Lord’s, and he also holds the best individual return of 13/132 against the West Indies. Steyn has the unique double in SA cricket of 10 wicket hauls in away Tests against Australia and India. He has been the world’s No. 1 ranked bowler since 2009. Pollock has achieved the notable double of 3 000 Test runs and more than 400 wickets.
Steyn has also broken the South African record for getting to 100, 150, 200 and 300 Test wickets and he also has the highest strike rate of all time for those who have taken 150 wickets or more. He is the joint third fastest to 300 wickets alongside Malcolm Marshall and Sir Richard Hadlee.

Vernon Philander’s skill with the ball impressed many around the world, with the seamer taking 78 wickets in his first 14 Test matches for South Africa. He is the joint second-fastest bowler of all time to take 50 wickets, a feat which was achieved in only seven Test matches.   

Amla, Boucher, De Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Smith, Gary Kirsten and Kallis (in ascending order) are the five South Africans to have scored more than 5 000 Test runs. In 2013, the No.1 Ranked Proteas’ boasted the achievement of having the No.1 ranked Test Batsman (Amla), Bowler (Steyn) and All-rounder (Kallis) on the ICC Test Rankings.


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