With three World Cups lined up in the next three years – two T20 World Cups and the 2023 World Cup – South Africa could bury the demons of their past.
Despite a woeful campaign at last year's showpiece ICC event, fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo has backed South Africa to win a World Cup soon. South Africa endured a forgettable World Cup campaign last year, finishing seventh with three wins from nine matches, with Phehlukwayo claiming 11 wickets, but the bowling allrounder has confident in South Africa's young bunch of players, who he feels has the hunger of turning things around for the team.
South Africa haven't won an ICC tournament in the last 22 years with the last major trophy being the 1998 Champions Trophy which they won in Bangladesh. Since, South Africa have lost the semifinal of the World Cup thrice – in 1999, 2007 and 2015, but have failed to make it to the final four. However, with three World Cups lined up in the next three years – two T20 World Cups and the 2023 World Cup – South Africa could bury the demons of their past.
"I really believe it will happen. Maybe it didn't look like it at the 2019 World Cup, where we really didn't look after situations that on normal occasions we would take care of, but if you look at the current generation, it's a lot of new players who are really hungry to perform," Phehlukwayo told ESPNCricinfo.
"Even in our current rebuilding phase, we have managed to beat strong teams who already have their formula set. It's all about the mindset. Our brand is work in progress but we all know where we want to be. We are fully committed."
An all-rounder by forte, Phehlukwayo hasn't fared as well with the bat as he'd have wanted to. He has 115 international wickets from 89 international matches but just 673 runs with a half-century in ODIs. Having played 58 one-day internationals, Phehlukwayo's average of 29.63 isn't bad for a No. 7 batsman although he is keen to perform better with the bat.
"I believe I'm a genuine all-rounder because I can win games with bat or ball, but I understand that those arguments about the kind of player someone is would look at the stats," Phehlukwayo said.
"I don't think they consider whether the team needs you to bat or bowl more. Also, the circumstances and environment on the day will dictate whether you will be better at one discipline in the situation. And then it's also about the opportunity and how long you're able to bat or bowl on the day. Sometimes you're only at the crease for a very short period, for example, and it's about the impact you can make in that time."