Depth an issue, say ex-Proteas

Cape Town - Former South African cricketers are of the opinion that the Proteas' one-day side have a long road ahead if they are to win a major ICC event.

The Proteas were bundled out in convincing fashion by England in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals earlier this week, leaving fans wondering when the team will finally shed its infamous "chokers" tag.

Former opening batsman and now television pundit, Boeta Dippenaar, told Beeld that the depth in South African cricket is not a strong as many may have believed, while former all-rounder and coach, Eric Simons, feels a better planning strategy should be put in place by Cricket South Africa, and former batsman Daryll Cullinan has expressed concern over the future of the young batsmen in the country.

"There is less depth in our cricket that we realise," said Dippenaar. He also feels it's time to tap into the resources of overseas coaches.

"We are reluctant to include cricket gurus from outside and we don't like outside influences, but I believe it is needed to get a new perspective." Dippenaar singled out former Australian players Shane Warne and Rod Marsh who could add valuable input.

Dippenaar also feels the current No 1-ranked Test team could take a dip in the coming years. "Things will change drastically once Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn aren't there anymore."

Simons, who coached the Proteas between 2002 and 2004, said the best batting order needs to be identified now and kept intact for the future.

"South Africa have a very special player in AB de Villiers - and the team should be built around him. David Miller is also something special and together with Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and (Chris) Morris, South Africa have players that will form the core of the team.

"But they should stick with the same combinations. I know there are big frustration and anger after what happened in the Champions Trophy but everyone must be patient," said Simons.

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