The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Why should it happen to me'’

Johannesburg: Lance Klusener admitted Friday that he was left so despondent by South Africa’s heartbreaking World Cup exit that he was tempted to give it all up and go fishing instead.

For the second successive World Cup, the 31-year-old was at the wicket when the last rites were performed on his team’s hopes. Monday, fate was conspiring against him again as he was stranded in the middle with Mark Boucher when the crucial group B game with Sri Lanka in Durban was abandoned as a tie.

Again it was a result which put South Africa out of the World Cup. “When the whole thing was over and I realised just what had happened, I kept asking myself why it should have happened to me,” Klusener told the Business Day newspaper here. “I was just wondering whether I shouldn’t just give it up and go fishing.”

Had Boucher scored even a single off what turned out to be the last ball of the match off Muttiah Muralidharan instead of meekly pushing it to midwicket, South Africa would have progressed to the Super Sixes.

“We lost the whole thing before that ball,” said Klusener. “There were two macthes we should have won —against the West Indies and New Zealand — and there were other small things. We should not have been in that situation by the time we played Sri Lanka.”

Klusener also said that, like his team, the Sri Lankans too were in the dark about the required run-rate at that time. “They said afterwards they knew what the situation was, but if they did, why didn’t their field change,” Klusener said.

“They should have had more men up guarding against a single, but the field did not change from the previous ball. I am sure they did not know what was going on and they were just saying they did to score a few points afterwards.”

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