All set for cricket’s quest for the elusive Holy Grail

Proteas cricket captain Faf du Plessis. Picture: Gallo Images

Proteas cricket captain Faf du Plessis. Picture: Gallo Images

Soon we’ll live in hope again as we try and go further than was the case in our first seven attempts.

On Thursday, national convener of selectors Linda Zondi will read out the 15 names to represent South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

Some of them would have always been expected to be there, some might consider themselves a tad fortunate while there will be those desperate unlucky ones who’ll be watching the spectacle on television like us mere mortals.

There will be music and beating drums while the 15 chosen ones will be celebrated and wished well on their quest for the Holy Grail.

The composition of the squad should make for interesting braai fire talk for a while. Some selections should split opinion right down the middle and form the basis of many fierce canteen debates.

Some crackpot politician might go to court (again) to try and stop them from setting sail for the United Kingdom because of the misrepresentation the bunch might resemble of our Rainbow Nation, especially after the recent announcement that quotas would be waived in selecting the touring squad or the match day XIs at the 2019 World Cup.

They are also bound to get a send off. That show might not be as glamorous – or extreme – as one in specific former sports minister Fikile Mbalula put on when he paraded around in a Proteas shirt with a bat, declaring “Moer hulle AB!”

The only worse thing imaginable would be current Sports Minister Thokozile Xasa joining ranks, but even though my honest assessment is that she has never held a cricket bat in her life she somehow seems a classier act than the rambling Mbaks and should therefore refrain from such pyrotechnics.

Either way, whoever is selected for battle and whichever way we march them off, that is it from our side. By that time bitching about specific players or ridiculous government officials on the band wagon would have run its course and all that will be left is the World Cup.

Then we’ll live in hope again as we try and go further than was the case in our first seven attempts. But as soon as things start going wrong, we’ll have flashbacks of a scoreboard showing “22 runs off 1 ball”, of Allan Donald’s shellshocked face at Edgbaston, Shaun Pollock crying in the Kingsmead dressing room or a bloody South African Kiwi Grant Elliott eliminating the Proteas in Auckland.

We’ll shut our eyes in anticipation of the latest unwanted chapter in our cricket history and silently think, maybe Mbaks in a clown suit was a better prospect.

Jaco van der Merwe.

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