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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

'White Lighting' won't strike any more

Ashish Magotra in Bloemfontein | March 08, 2003 17:55 IST

South Africa's most successful international bowler Allan Donald announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday.

Allan Donald with his daughterThe 36-year-old fast bowler retired from Test cricket in February 2002 following a knee injury in the second Test against Australia at the Wanderers. He continued playing ODIs until his last outing against Canada in the 2003 World Cup at East London on February 27.

"I have simply reached the end of the road. I have no more personal goals in either Tests or ODIs and I feel it is time to move on. I have had a wonderful international career playing for South Africa all over the world for which I am very grateful and I have no regrets." Donald said in Bloemfontein on Saturday."

United Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer Gerald Majola paid tribute to Donald saying: "Allan has been a great servant of South African cricket and he has represented his country with pride. He will continue to play a vital role in developing and training our fast bowlers. As part of the fast-tracking, Allan will travel with the South African under-19 team to England later this year to work with coach Dave Nosworthy as a technical advisor. He will also be involved with our national squad during their tour to the UK and will then return to his province, Free State, next summer."

Donald, himself, is looking forward to his further involvement in the game.

"I am excited about being involved with the UCBSA from a coaching perspective. There are a number of fine young fast bowlers and it will be a great challenge in helping them become international cricketers."

Donald made his Test debut in 1992 in South Africa's first Test against the West Indies in Bridgetown and was the last member of that team to have survived this long.

His presence will, indeed, be missed on and off the cricket field.

Excerpts from the press conference

Did the decision to retire hinge on the result of the match against Sri Lanka?

No. I pretty much had my mind made up and I always was a person who set goals and for me the World Cup was the final hurdle and it didn't quite turn out the way I or the team planned. And this decision did not hinge on the result. It's the start of a new career. In my  heart I knew it was time to go, it was not the best way but life goes on. I am going to England to work with Sky Sports as a commentator and do some other stuff. I will be working with the U-19's team. So a new life's starting very quickly.

Are you planning to go over to England?

I think county cricket was stepping stone for my cricket and I enjoyed every moment with the Warwickshire Bears but I think my time in England is done. I have two more years of provincial cricket left and I am planning to put back into Free State what they have put into me.

Who would you reckon have been the best three batsmen over last two years?

Sachin Tendulkar is the best I have come across. Simply put, the man is a bit of a freak. He is such a tough guy to bowl to. Bowlers always analyse batsmen and when you look at Sachin he is so well-balanced, he has an amazing eye for the game. He is one of those players that you set apart from anybody else.

The toughest of them all has been Steve Waugh, just for the pure resilience of the man, the toughness. A lot of people talk about mental toughness, he was the toughest I have ever come across, he would not give his wicket away at any stage, no matter what the conditions were.

The other guy would probably be Michael Atherton for the same kind of resilience. Just pure concentration. Ran into him a few times and he just stopped us in our tracks. Those are the three guys I am glad I won't bump into again.

The most special moment in his cricket career.

I think going to India and Pakistan and winning both those series will stand out for me as the toughest tour that we ever undertook. I think when you go to the sun-continent you know you can expect a very tough time. In Faisalabad (Pakistan), when I took the final catch and when Mark Boucher hit the winning runs against India.

Did it hurt when the media and fans blamed you for a few losses in this World Cup?

Allan DonaldWhen teams meet up for an event such as this, you are one unit. We use the slogan 'One team, one goal'. Unfortunately, things did not work out. We spoke about the fact that there will not be any places to hide in this World Cup. We did not play well and never gelled as a team. I still read in the papers about there being differences in the team and I think that is absolute nonsense. But we never seemed to get it together and I know that when this team gets it right it can hold its own against any team in the world. We have just not done that. I have unfortunately been singled out some of the times. But that is professional sport and sometimes it gets hot in the kitchen. I think I have handled it pretty well. I have taken some stick, some of it deservedly so because I set standards for myself and some of those standards I haven't reached. But that's professional sport and there is going to a winner in this World Cup and it is not going to be us.

Who do you think will win the 2003 World Cup?

Ummm. Right now I can only say I think Australia and India will play in the final. That's my view and I still say Australia will win. They are an outstanding team. India are starting to get it right. I think it will be an exciting final but don't just disregard any other team that is playing out there.

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be viewed as someone who gave it his all. I was very passionate about the badge, the country; very passionate about every team I played for. As I said, I am not going to sit down and think if only Allan Donald had done that. I gave my 110% for every team I played. I don't like people to judge me for what happened in this World Cup or in the previous World Cup. I put the blame solely on me and since then I have learnt to run between wickets. I would like to think Allan Donald gave it his best for the game of cricket.

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 19

Sub: view

Its an irony that players like Allan Donald have to retire with such a sad note.I can't understand that inspite of giving such wonderful performances ...

Posted by siddhartha murao

Sub: Good bye Allan!

Allan Donald was a treat to watch! His bowling and his rhythmic action was one of the best I have seen in the Cricket. He ...

Posted by Ramachandran

Sub: farewell!!

A wonderful fast bowler and super athelete on the field i think he set the trend for express fast bowling in SA.Batsmen would remember him ...

Posted by Anupam

Sub: Allan you are great

Thank you Allan for giving us a wonderful time to watch when you were with ball in all the games you have played. Though the ...

Posted by Ray

Sub: Bring this guy to India as a bowling coach.

I am sure it will be a great idea to bring this guy on as a bowling coach and nurture some young talent in the ...

Posted by DolandAdmirer


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