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Last Updated:  Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 18:15 GMT
Have Your Say on South Africa
Fast bowler Allan Donald announces his retirement from international cricket, following South Africa's early exit from the World Cup.

Allan Donald, who bowed out of the Test arena last year, opted to quit the one-day game after his side toppled out of the World Cup in frustrating style.

The 36-year-old earned 164 one-day caps since making his debut against India during the 1991/2 tour of the sub-continent.

He took a total of 272 wickets at an average of 21.78, with best figures of six for 23.

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails on South Africa's World Cup campaign appears below.

Allan was indeed an all-time great in his craft. I wish he had not made that final statement that they would bowl SL out for less than a 100. That disappointed many of his Sri Lankan supporters. Was it ironic that he had to sit in the pavillion and watch SA go out of the WC2003?
Ron, Jamaica, WI

Cricket will miss you Allan. All the best for your future
Jay Hanmantgad, UK

Well done Allan! You are a legend and an inspiration. You've done SA proud!
Etienne, London

My favourite cricket memory is Allan Donald's confrontations with Mike Atherton in Tests in England. The mutual respect between the two, the fiery bowling and resilient batting, but above all the look of utter relish on Donald's face as he ran in again and again. He was a great player and the international game will miss him.
Mark, UK

I had two opportunities to watch Donald live, once in Bangalore, India and other time at the Lord's. "White lightning" it was and no other bowler in his era, had the grace and aggression mixed so nicely.

Cricket will miss you Allan (I hate to watch Brett Lee and Shoaib Akthar, sheer pace and no grace). All the best for your future. Let's hope when the world has lost a premier fast bowler, they will gain a premium fast bowling coach.
Jay Hanmantgad, Middlesex, UK

I salute the great fast bowler. It was the greatest sight of all to watch him majestically run up to the wicket and deliver his lightening fast deliveries. So sad that he couldnt get the farewell that he so badly deserved.
Nabil, UK

A sad moment for world cricket as one of the finest fast bowlers of all time, Allan Donald, bows out. 'White Lighting' will certainly be missed by many and his fearsome pace and bounce even traumatised the finest of batsmen, namely in Kingsmead, Durban when he sent Sachin Tendulkar's stumps flying in 1997. Goodbye Allan Donald!!
Aruni, England

South African bowling was a complete flop
Billy Khan, Los Angeles

Allan, I was born to cricket when you started your international career; to watch SA from now on without you?? I don't know. But I can understand your decision. I salute you, you did GRAND for us. Thank you.
Jose Reis, Portugal

I think there were two big factors in the disappointing performance of the Proteas in the World Cup. South African bowling was a complete flop. Even though they had Donald but they no other strike bowlers, which they needed in the match against the Kiwis and Lankans.

The second factor was Boucher. If he hadn't missed the catch of Fleming he wouldn't have gotten to 130. I mean, come on, it was just a simple catch. And the second time was he didn't get a score on the last ball of the 45th over which could have won them the match and probably the World Cup.
Billy Khan, Los Angeles, California

The World Cup format needs a total revamp. To not see the top teams play each other is idiotic. That Kenya make the Super Sixes instead of the WI is ridiculous, and Zimbabwe's qualification is also unearned...
Neil, RSA

Never mind SA, at least you now have a good motto for future World Cups: "if at first you don't succeed, then tie, tie again".
Andrew, Hungary

I feel sorry for SA, but if they believe without the rain they could have won, that's a mistake. It's not possible to say the outcome of a close game until the last ball is bowled.

Allan, please go against all your fast bowling instincts and don't be too hasty!
Graham Mercer, Tanzania

For example, WI could have thought they could win the match with SL when they had to make just 16 runs in two overs. That didn't happen. So if SA thinks that they could have won the match if it didn't rain, that is a mistake. The match could have gone either way.
Mark, Australia

I just thank God that we still have Ernie Els and Retief Goosen to shout for. At least they are consistent and they can still perform in rain. Bad luck Proteas!!!
Jaco Pieters, Stellenbosch, RSA

Don't want to comment on the overall performance of the South African team, but I would like to say that as an Englishman who has lived for 26 years in East Africa, and who is passionate about good cricket, that Allan Donald's present mood is a sad reflection of his past achievements and his place in cricket's hall of fame.

He should not be too hasty in his thoughts of retirement from the Test Match scene. He is still a great bowler, with a heart as big as a bucket, and international cricket would be poorer for his absence.

So Allan, please go against all your fast bowling instincts and don't be too hasty! You are much admired, outside South Africa as well as in it.
Graham Mercer, Tanzania

SA were certainly unlucky, it is a shame for the avid cricket lover not to see them in the Super Six, and play and try to settle a few scores with the Aussies.

If there was any blame to be passed it should be on Bangladesh, the main culprit who changed the destinies of SA by simply not doing what it should have and that was to beat Kenya. Bangladesh should be dropped from all leagues of cricket let alone Test matches.
Raj, NJ, USA

With two losses and a draw you don't deserve anything
Rajein Ramkrepal, Durban

Were SA unlucky? In a word, no - they didn't bowl well enough, bat well enough (aside from Gibbs, who would open for the Group stage select XI with Sachin) and didn't field anywhere near well enough. When you've got those three problems, lucky or unlucky doesn't really come into it.
Julian, England

No matter how unlucky you are, if you have good bowlers and fine batsman you can make you own luck. It's time to select the best players for the team, not those that are politically correct. Gary Player once said, "The more he practices the luckier he gets!"
Richard, London

Wow! Booted out again. What a joy to see SA kicked out of the World Cup again. Don't blame the rain, don't blame the D/L system, they were just not good enough to be there amongst the top teams in the world. With two losses and a draw you don't deserve anything, not even any symphathy.
Rajein Ramkrepal, Durban, South Africa

I think this whole World Cup has been handicapped by the D/L rule and politics. I for one do not believe that any math equation holds on the field; eg, after a shower when play resumes, who knows what the pitch, which has either sweated under covers or acquired humidity, will do?

Can the D/L rule take care of factors like that? The whole charm of cricket lies in reading the conditions and utilizing the team members to win the game under those conditions. SA have been unfair victims of this really stupid rule (with apologies to D and L).

The options are clear to my mind. Chuck out the D/L rule and reschedule rain disrupted matches on allotted 'spare days' or lay out those artificial turfs on the pitch so that you have even bounce and spin under all conditions and then apply D/L rule. In the event of the latter, I won't be watching.
Usha, Japan

Time for a change of guard
David, Singapore

Why don't they put the number of runs required under the Duckworth-Lewis method up on the scoreboard? Seems like an easy solution to stop the SA situation happening again.
Kim, Sydney

Listen, the Duckworth-Lewis system, albeit the best available, is rubbish. With the amount of rain possible this time of the year, you can potentially have the best teams in the world out of the final four (case in point, England are out, victims of the same fate).

Yes, South Africa brought most of this on themselves but for crying out loud, the disappointment for a fan to see his team go out on account of the weather is tremendous!

In golf, for instance, one comes back the next day and finishes the round if they don't complete it due to rain. It would be one thing to have one or two games decided by the weather! However, this World Cup we saw a lot more than that.
Scott Bowen, USA

RSA team performance was average. Only two players provided the top level skill required to win the cup, Gibbs and Ntini. Several players showed average capability, including Shaun and that man, Kluesner.

Donald, Kirsten and Boucher - RSA can not afford to carry anymore. So was RSA unlucky? Well, a bit of luck may have carried them through to the Super Sixes, but not beyond. Time for a change of guard.
David, Singapore

And they claim to be the best side in the world? What a laugh.
Anthony, Australia

Andrew Flower and Henry Olonga have stood head and shoulders above the rest
Linda, Australia

As a new Australian, I wanted to see a South Africa - Australia final. There's no doubt SA has been very unlucky throughout the tournament but then so have the West Indies. Some of the teams that have made it through because of a flawed system would be flogged by Australia's A side.

It will be an Australia/India final with Australia prevailing. Yes, South Africa were unlucky but the way they were playing suggested that they were going nowhere anyway!
Frank Ainslie, Brisbane, Australia

For goodness sake - the use of words such as tragic and devastating, as well as the shedding of tears (by South African fans and cricketers), should be reserved for human losses - not a game of cricket!

When Zimbabwe failed to reach a target of 99 to win a Test match against the West Indies several years ago, captain Andrew Flower - when asked if this was a tragedy - replied that loss of human life was tragic, not a game of cricket.

Once again, Andrew Flower and Henry Olonga have stood head and shoulders above the rest as true sportsmen and - more importantly - human beings. Go Zimbabwe!
Linda, Australia

I feel that SA was on the wrong side of the calculations to win this match. It would be fair to both teams to know the scores that they need to get at the end of all balls of an over prior to start of the over. Today with computers, it is not a difficult task.

The Duckworth-Lewis method may be well thought and calculated method, but both the playing teams must know the scores they need to get before the start of the over.

The ICC should ban South Africa until the direct political interference stops
Trevor, USVI

The scoreboards must have the scores for each team to win for every ball of the over in case the match has to be stopped at anytime and the winner must be decided.
Joe, St. Louis, Mo, USA

I think that which ever side wins the World Cup ought to know that they were not playing the best side that South Africa can field. I agree whole-heartedly with Clive Rice in his support for Shaun Pollock and his sentiments in his column on 4 March 2003. I think the ICC should ban South Africa until the direct political interference stops.
Trevor, USVI

I'm very sorry that the South Africans didn't make it through - they lost out on three very close games. But I think the time has come for the whole cricketing community in South Africa to deal with the reality of cricket in South Africa, and put their whole commitment behind cricket development.

The Aussies play with a squad of 15, and would back any 11 of those 15 to be the best team on the day. South Africa should make the same kind of commitment to a squad of 25 or 30 to play in the next World Cup, and invest the time, training and support in their development players which will make sure that the team which plays in the next World Cup is both representative and the best possible team.

Anyone who wants to play cricket in SA should come to terms with the fact that cricket has to be representative, and put all their efforts into making it happen.
Helen, USA

Blend old blood with fresh innovative talent, and build for the future
Matt Thurley, United States

It is a shame, ICC/World Cup Committee did not have a spare day for rain affected games. The tournament is played once every four years, it has to be flawless.

They had the provision during ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka. I am sure there are millions of cricket fans out there who are utterly disappointed. South Africa, West Indies and many cricket fans are unlucky.
Pulin, Chicago

It's a tough one Proteas. Time to reorganise and build a team for the future. World Cup tournaments are not the time to experiment with inexperienced personnel.

Blend old blood with fresh innovative talent, and build for the future. You will be back. Everything in life is cyclical. It's very disappointing not to reach the Super Six stage, put it behind you and build from your strengths and include your available talent pool, regardless of colour or creed, and in time you will be back!
Matt Thurley, United States

SA do have the potential but it seems, as Clive Rice says, that they are getting hamstrung by the selectors. As talented as Zondeki is, there is no way he should have been playing in a game as crucial as this.

While although he was probably an adequate substitute for Allan Donald, there were four or five players that would have made a better replacement - although they were not even selected for the squad in the first place.

There are loads of players who are not only better at this stage in their careers, but also who have more experience. Granted, experience is needed in order to develop a player, but surely there are more adequate games to do so.

What needs to happen is that South Africa needs to closely examine its unfair, and destructive selective process, and select the best team possible to win the most important games.

No other sports team in the world pursues such a destructive selection process
John, England

This colour-blind selection process will help guarantee at least a competitive performance by South Africa, giving the team the self-confidence to be able to completely rely on each other when the time comes, as well as the realization that it is only through dedicated persistence and raw talent that they will achieve a place on the team.

Only then will South Africa achieve the glory that is truly needed for the game to develop in South Africa, and to tap the vast reserves of talent that its multi-cultural population potentially affords it and produce more players as fine as Makhaya Ntini or Herschelle Gibbs.

Indeed, I can think of no other sports team in the world that pursues such a destructive selection process, which in reality has the opposite effect intended of encouraging truly fair and representational cricket.
John, England

The demise of SA cricket goes way deeper than three close games in a World Cup...
Neil, RSA

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