Media statement by President Zuma on the occasion of the official send-off of the National Cricket Team (Proteas) – Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria
01 February 2011
The Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Mr Fikile Mbalula,
The Chief Executive Officer of Cricket South Africa, Mr Gerald Majola,
The Coach Mr Corrie Van Zyl
The Captain, Mr Graeme Smith and the entire Cricket Team and Staff,
Ladies and gentleman of the media,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you on the eve of the Proteas Team tour to the International Cricket Council World Cup tournament to be held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, starting on the 19th of February.
You will remember that on the 9th of January I had the fortune and pleasure of watching you the Proteas play in Durban.
We lost to India during a nail-biting one day international. However we as a nation took solace and courage in the display of young talent with nerves of steel and determination.
We were entertained by some of the fastest bowlers ever seen in the history of Cricket in South Africa.
We are delighted to witness a sizeable number of young people coming through the development structures of Cricket.
Cricket is a national asset and the nation is fully behind you, as your victory is our victory as the South African people.
On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa we wish you all the success in this international campaign.
We will support you to the final until you bring the trophy back and hand it over to President Nelson Mandela!
I met him this morning and promised him that you will do your best and make the nation proud.
He supports you all the way, and will be watching the games as much as possible on television.
We call upon every South African to support this competition by wearing their Proteas shirts on Fridays as part of the Magnificent Fridays campaign launched by the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.
We did this successfully for the FIFA Soccer World Cup, and we thank you for bringing back that excitement!
May this nation’s traditional winning streak see you through the ferocious spin-bowlers of the Asian-Sub Continent, and also make you bring the trophy home.
I thank you.