The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Donald wants to retire hurt
- ‘I was stunned to hear I’d been left out of Lanka game’

Johannesburg: Allan Donald Wednesday admitted he is close to announcing his retirement from international cricket, saying the decision to drop him from the XI which lost to Sri Lanka had left him stunned.

“I will make a final announcement in the next few days, but I am leaning heavily towards retirement from international cricket,” Donald told the BBC. “There were suggestions of staying on for the tour of England but this is probably the right time to bow out.

“I said over the last week I was feeling like my old self again, and the captain, Shaun Pollock, said as much the day before, but he then came to me and said I had been left out — I was stunned.

“I got the feeling Shaun and the coaches wanted me in but they only have so much power on the selection committee. I thought I would have found someone to back me.”

Donald cut a forlorn figure at the World Cup, being dropped three times as desperate selectors constantly changed the team to rescue a campaign jolted by defeats to the West Indies and New Zealand before the rain resulted in a fatal tie with Lanka.

“To be knocked out as a result of two tied matches in two World Cups is just heart-breaking, and to be sitting helpless on Monday night made it even worse,” Donald said. “There was mayhem in the middle, as the rain came as a real surprise after a clear day. Mark Boucher was convinced we only needed 229 to win, although we knew in the dressing-room we needed one more.

“But we know from past experience there is nothing we can do to change what has happened — and we certainly cannot make excuses.”

Confusion over how many runs were needed ended in Boucher tamely pushing what turned out to be the final delivery of the game into mid-wicket leaving the scores tied.

“I am still convinced the team we had could have beaten any side if it had fired, but we have not played well throughout the tournament and in a way the rain served to put us out of our misery. It’s being unable to contribute that hurts most. I’m usually pretty hard on myself and it’s a difficult fact to swallow that I have never really contributed in this World Cup.”

Donald also said that the public should get off Pollock’s back and give him a chance to prove that he is the right man for the job.

“Cricket careers have got to go on — we cannot just throw people on the scrapheap purely on the basis of a bad tournament — because someone has not bowled well or kept well,” he said.

“We have a captain in Shaun Pollock who can continue to do the job and we have to build on the guys who played a part in the World Cup.” (AFP)

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