New Zealand vs South Africa: Dream is over
Broken, defeated: De Villiers said the missed run-out chance was one of the opportunities to win the game. “if you want to see it that way, I cost us the game.” (Source: Reuters photo)
South African captain A B de Villiers did not hide his emotions after his side’s heart-wrenching semifinal exit
AB de Villiers shut his eyes and retreated into a personal hell. In a roomful of people. Some he knew, most were strangers, and it’s the last place he wanted to be but he was there at the press conference for the post-mortem of the heart-breaking defeat.
Sitting beside him, Russell Domingo muttered into the mike and de Villiers, who had finished saying his piece before making way for his coach, slumped in the chair. Elbows on his knees, eyes red, melancholic face, he dropped his head, and sunk in a bottomless pit of despair. You felt like telling the coach to stop talking and put a hand around de Villiers’ shoulder. Just give him a hug and go home, sir.
Break down, almost
What’s there to be said on dark nights like this? de Villiers tried but could only manage to convey his despair. The first questioner asked him to share his emotions on this defeat. For a moment there, it seemed de Villiers would break down. Words refused to escape his lips, a lump appeared in the throat, and he quickly yanked his eyes up towards the ceiling. It was an emotional pause, a personal moment played out in public.
Somehow, he managed to hold back his tears and gathered himself.
“It’s a tough one, you know? I felt that we left it out on the field tonight, and that’s all I can ask of the guys, you know? We had our chances especially in the second half of the game and we didn’t take it. So, yeah, it’s difficult to say what kind of emotions I’m feeling. It’s obviously painful.
“Lots of people back home were supporting us. It hurts to think of all of them, you know, and we so badly wanted to take that trophy back home, but I guess life moves on. The sun will come up again tomorrow like our coach said numerous times in this tournament.” He sounded as if he didn’t believe sun would rise in the morning.
Someone asked him about how he is going to take care of the team-mates. “I have absolutely no idea what to do from here on in,” he said. “I don’t even know when we’re going home. It’s going to take some time. As a captain, I’ll be there for the guys as much as I can, and there is nothing you can do about it now.”Another thought it fit to ask whether he had let go of the World Cup with his missed run-out. He had failed to collect a throw on his feet and broke the stumps with his hands instead.
Corey Anderson used up that reprieve to extend the match-turning partnership with Grant Elliott. de Villiers could have turned angry at this moment, he didn’t. “If you want to see it that way that I cost us, then I will gladly take it.”
A question was asked about whether it was the worst day, the worst he had ever felt on a cricket field. A solitary word slipped out.
“Yes”. And he just stared ahead. There was this eerie heart-breaking blankness on his face. How can we even try to imagine what he is going through? This isn’t the moment to offer words of sympathy but a time to leave him, and his men, alone.
Source:: Indian Express