The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘We miss Hansie’s leadership skills’

Johannesburg: South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs believes the World Cup hosts are still missing the leadership skills of their late former captain Hansie Cronje.

Gibbs was speaking on Monday at the launch of his biography, a day after his century failed to prevent South Africa suffering a nine-wicket defeat by New Zealand in a rain-affected Group B match.

The South Africans’ second defeat in three matches left them almost certainly needing to win their three remaining pool games and hoping West Indies beat Sri Lanka on February 28 to advance to the Super Sixes.

“Hansie’s leadership skills made him an icon,” Gibbs said. “We do miss him. Jonty Rhodes and Allan Donald made no mistake in recognising that before the tournament.

“He played the game with passion and always believed we could win from any situation.”

“Shaun is new to the job and obviously still has a lot to learn but he was the guy who put his hand up when all that stuff happened,” Gibbs said, referring to the 2000 match-fixing scandal following which he received a six-month ban from cricket.

Gibbs said his teammates were struggling to deal with Sunday’s result. “Yesterday was very disappointing,” he said. “It’s never nice to have your fate lie with other teams.

“The guys are feeling a bit down and hot under the collar. We started the World Cup with so many good intentions but this is what makes cricket such a great sport — you can make all the preparations you want but things still don’t necessarily go your way.

“We’ve only got ourselves to blame, but who knows, we could still go on and win it,” Gibbs said. Gibbs also criticised South Africa’s bowlers. “It’s not everyday you score 143 and lose,” he told Johannesburg talk radio station 702. “You have got to look at the bowlers not getting the ball in the right places.

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