The Web


World Cup 2003
Match Reports
Graphical Analysis
WC Format
Fantasy Cricket
Discussion Groups

Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Did Boucher drop the 2003 World Cup?

February 17, 2003 11:48 IST

Herschelle Gibbs, they say, dropped the 1999 World Cup. Mark Boucher may just have dropped the 2003 trophy on Sunday.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was on 53 at The Wanderers when he offered the South African wicketkeeper a simple chance behind the stumps.

Boucher snatched eagerly at the ball and spilled it. A few hours and two cruel rain delays later, Fleming was completing an innings of a lifetime by hitting the winning runs through the off side.

The significance of Fleming's unbeaten 134 was not lost on his team mates, who began jogging on to the field at the end to congratulate their captain.

It's significance will not be lost on Boucher either.

South Africa, who also lost their first game against West Indies, now face a massive task just to make it to the Super Six round, let alone become the first home team to lift the trophy.

Boucher, after missing two catches and a stumping in the earlier win over Kenya, had taken a master-class from former Australia keeper Ian Healy on Friday. Healy is the holder of the record for Test dismissals by a wicketkeeper with 395.

Boucher had maintained: "I don't think there's anything wrong with my keeping at the moment...People are allowed to have bad days and I had a bad day against Kenya."

Whether the demanding, sports-mad South African public will forgive him two bad days remains to be seen.


In 1999, Gibbs had caught Australia skipper Steve Waugh in the last game of the Super Six stage at Headingley but, starting to celebrate prematurely, somehow lost control of the ball.

Waugh had been on 56. He went on to make 120 not out. Sounds familiar?

Australia won the game by five wickets, met the South Africans again in a dramatic semi-final, tied but went through on countback. Days later, they were World Cup holders.

For a while, a rumour was accepted as fact, that Waugh had said to Gibbs that day: "You've gone and dropped the World Cup, mate."

(Waugh later put the record straight, saying that he had merely told Gibbs that his mistake would cost South Africa that Headingley game).

Gibbs scored 143 out of South Africa's 306 for six on Sunday but Boucher spoilt the day for him.

Gibbs, however, will never blame him.

He knows what it feels like to drop a World Cup. Years later, reflecting on his 1999 dropped catch, he said: "In quiet moments my mind goes back...to what happened and I break out in a cold sweat.

"I'm still suffering from flashbacks which send shivers down my spine."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 10


Well! may be . but the Proteas doesnt have a potent attack like the Aussies or Paki's, but they have peaked into form too early ...

Posted by Mohan


Even though he had dropped the catch, SA still has chance to come back. Its not a matter of blaming anyone. What happened when all ...

Posted by gunjan pandey

Sub: drop catch

some time people see in that way,droping a catch means a lot to a team. in my opinion souh africa is suffering from a week ...

Posted by akdas

Sub: World Cup 2003

I think yes, Boucher has dropped the World Cup 2003 as previously dropped by Gibbs in England World Cup 1999. Now the chances of SA ...

Posted by Naveen Arora

Sub: Poor guy Boucher

Poor guy. He should not be blamed at all. Boucher is an excellent player and this was just one of those instances.. Nothing more. Fleming ...

Posted by Cyrus


Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor

Related Stories

Gibbs leads SA's rout of Kenya

Healy, Jones to watch opposition

Losing Jonty could be a big blow

People Who Read This Also Read

Stephen Fleming interview

India seek change of fortune

'There is no option but to fight'

Copyright © 2003 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.