Proteas

Donald: My wife had to burn hate mail after 1999 World Cup

Allan Donald (File)
Allan Donald (File)

Cape Town - Proteas legend Allan Donald has opened up on the struggles he faced in the aftermath of the 1999 World Cup in England.

Considered one of the greatest fast bowlers that South Africa has ever produced, Donald was the man run out in the semi-finals against Australia that year when the Proteas needed just one run to win with one wicket in hand. 

With Lance Klusener at the other end, the images of Donald stranded helplessly on the Edgbaston wicket surrounded by a sea of yellow as the Australians celebrated have haunted South African cricket lovers ever since. 

Now, 20 years later, the Proteas are set to go again as they return to England under the leadership of Faf du Plessis looking to win a first-ever World Cup. 

Now 52, Donald spoke to Wisden last week about the events that followed 1999. 

"I don’t think people know how tough it was. I had to face a lot of things," Donald said.

"My wife burned letters that were written to me, a lot of abuse was flying around. I had to deal with all of that and I had to deal with the guilt, so to speak, of not making that happen.

"It is still tough to look at knowing we were just one run away. I am OK with it now.

"It was a really, really tough time and I had some help from some tremendous people behind the scenes to ease that.

"But I am in a position now where I can help players. I can relate to their disappointment."

Donald is now working as Kent's assistant coach in England.

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