The second one-day international against Pakistan, to be played at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on November 27 will mark a historic day in South African cricket history. The game on Wednesday will be the 500th ODI that Proteas will play in international cricket. Cricket South Africa on Monday, hailed the national side ahead of the landmark fixture.
"The Proteas have built up an outstanding record over the past 22 years," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a release on Monday.
Lorgat highlighted South Africa's brilliant overall record in ODIs, lauding their win-loss ratio which is only second to Australia in ODI history. "They have won 307 (6 ties) out of the 499 matches to date which translates into a winning margin of 61.5 percent. If one discounts the 13 matches that produced no result, then their wining ratio is an impressive 63 percent. That is a statistic worthy of celebration and certainly compares with the best in the world," Lorgat said.
Clive Rice was the first captain of the South African ODI team, in 1991, when they were rejoined with the ICC. Together with Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje, Shaun Pollock, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers, there were a total of 12 captains that led the Proteas in their 22-year long ODI history. Lorgat applauds all of the players and the support staff that have played ODIs for the country.
"I would like to congratulate the 12 captains, the eight coaches and all the players and staff who have contributed to this success over the past 22 years," he said.
The 53-year-old also recalled South Africa's record in the ICC World Cup, also highlighting the iconic fielders that their cricketing structure could produce. "Having reached three World Cup semi-finals during this period we all know what is missing and I am hopeful that this triumph is not far away. Personally I feel we have always set high fielding standards through the brilliance of fielders like Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers and many others," he said.
Lorgat goes down memory lane and recollected the famous 438 run-chase against Australia at Johannesburg as well as the heart-wrenching tied semi-final of the 1999 World Cup. "Most people will remember with awe the unbelievable 438 win against Australia which is universally regarded as the greatest ODI of all time. The records it set for the highest match aggregate and the highest successful run chase are likely to stand for a long time. But our emotions were also tested in other great games. I can clearly remember the heartache of the tied match against Australia at the 1999 World Cup semi-final," he added.
The former ICC CEO, who has been in the news over his cold relations with the Indian cricket board, showed gratitude to the Pakistan side for agreeing to tour the Rainbow Nation on a short-notice.
"It is perhaps fitting that our 500th game will be played against Pakistan. We owe them special thanks for touring South Africa at short notice and playing so attractively. Notwithstanding some naysayers, the cricket has been fantastic and has generated huge interest from our fans. I am grateful to the PCB and the players," he said.