‘I started weeping in dressing room, just couldn’t stop crying’

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The 2015 World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand left cricket enthusiasts with a heavy heart, as they witnessed the Proteas’ defeat. The image of South African players shedding tears on the field remains etched in memory. Faf du Plessis, a vital part of the Proteas squad during that tournament, has shared insights into the dressing room’s emotional turmoil that followed that devastating loss.

Du Plessis, reflecting on that fateful moment, described it as a rare instance in his cricketing journey. He noted that he had never witnessed a more despondent change room. He emphasised the pivotal role of weather, highlighting that when rain intervened, New Zealand’s primary bowlers had nearly exhausted their allotted overs. The Proteas had been defending a target of 400, and the rain-shortened game allowed Brendon McCullum and his ilk to wreak havoc.

“When we were batting first and the rain comes, what people forget to mention is that all their front line bowlers were finished and we were definitely looking for 400. A shortened game brings someone like Brendon McCullum into the game and have a great start. We had one or two chances, it wasn’t all an unlucky game,” said Du Plessis during a Pre-match show on Star Sports.

He further added, “But, after that game ‘oh my word!’, I have never seen a change room so shattered. The last time I cried this much when I saw Lion King as a youngster. After that day I sat and started weeping in the dressing room, I just couldn’t stop crying. I looked around and saw 8-9 guys absolutely broken. It’s the best game of cricket that I have been part of and also the worst after everything happened,” he concluded 

Here’s what du Plessis said:

2015 World Cup loss that left indelible mark on AB de Villiers’ cricketing career 

AB de Villiers, the former captain of South Africa, revealed that the painful memory of his team’s loss to New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup semi-final had a lasting impact on him, weighing on his spirit for nearly a year and playing a significant role in his abrupt decision to retire from international cricket.

In that rain-affected semi-final, South Africa suffered a four-wicket defeat to New Zealand through the D/L method. De Villiers candidly acknowledged the profound struggle he faced in coming to terms with that heart-wrenching loss. 

“That really wore me down a touch but I kept playing, I tried to bite the bullet, I tried to be there. I was batting really well. I still had incredible friendships and memories,” De Villiers had told Harsha Bhogle.

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