The South African national team, which also goes by the name of Proteas, represents the country South Africa internationally across the three formats of the sport. It’s administered by a governing body known as Cricket South Africa. The team is a full member of the International Cricket Council.

Early History

As in most colonized nations, cricket was initially introduced in South Africa by the British in the early 19th century.

The first ever cricket match was played in Cape Town between two service teams in 1808. In 1843, the first and the oldest club known as the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club was found.

First Test and Series in South Africa

In 1888, the English team toured South Africa for the very first courtesy of Sir Donald Currie who sponsored the English team. In 1889, South Africa became just the third nation to play a Test match. The match was played against England in Port Elizabeth. The team was captained by Owen Robert Dunnell.

South Africa’s early Test record is one of the worst. It took them 17 years to register their first Test victory which came against England in 1906.

Country South Africa South Africa
Founded 1889
Captain Dean Elgar
Coach Mark Boucher

Soon the cricket started to go through progressive development and the first ever cricket tournament was staged in Port Elizabeth which was won by King William’s Town.

Unfolding of the first world class South African team

It was only in the early 1900s that the South African cricket team started to come out as an force. Payers like Bonnor Middleton, Jimmy Sinclair, Charlie Llewellyn, Dave Nourse, Louis Tancred, Aubrey Faulkner, Reggie Schwarz, Percy Sherwell, Tip Snooke, Bert Vogler, and Gordon White came in and made it a team that could knock any team’s socks off. They possessed some of the best players in their squad who had insane stats whe it came to Test Cricket.

The War Era

There came a slight halt in international cricket in South Africa during the years of war. The matches which scheduled were suspended from the years 1914-1918. Cricket resumed in South Africa in the latter part of year 1918.

In 1947 when the situation had completely stabilized, the squad went to England to play against them. This was the tour where Captain Alan Melville and vice captain Dudley Nourse recorded the highest third wicket stand of 319 runs in the history of world Test cricket.

The International Ban

An international ban was imposed by the ICC on the South African cricket team in 1970. This was due to the new laws introduced in the country in regards to apartheid which divided people by the color of their skin in 1948. This resulted in disruption of careers of some promising players. Some of the better players of South Africa including Allan Lamb and Robin Smith emigrated and started playing for England. The ban came as a huge upset for the players like Clive Rice and Vincent van der Bijl who had excellent first class records in Test cricket but they never got to play again.

Post International Ban

The ban was lifted off of them in 1991. The South African International team played it’s first international match since the international ban in 1970 against India in Calcutta. It was their first one day international match ever and they went on to lose it but Allan Donald picked up a five-fer. South Africa also went on to win their first ODI later in that series in Delhi.

They made their Test debut, post the ban, against West Indies in April 1992 in Bridgetown, Barbados but collapsed on the final day to hand the hosts the win.

International Tournaments

The 1992 World Cup

In 1992, the South African team did extremely well to make it to the semi finals and it seemed like they could go all the way but they came up against Sri Lanka which seemed to be a formidable team but South Africa dug deep and brought it down to 22 runs from 13 balls but the play was interrupted by rain. Due to miscalculation by the team, they were left with 22 runs to scare in just one ball after the rain delay.

The 2003 World Cup

In 2003, the Rainbow Nation hosted the World Cup and were the heavy favorites to win it as their team comprised of superstars like Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald, Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis. Unfortunately, they failed to progress from the group stages due to a misunderstanding of how many runs they needed to score in a game that was again affected by the rain.

Due to similar slumps in later years and after failing to win any of the major ICC trophies even after reaching advanced stages of the tournament, the team earned the nick name of “chokers”.

South African Cricket Team Records

Top Test Run Scorers

  • Jacques Kallis
  • Harshim Amla
  • Graeme Smith
  • AB de Villiers
  • Gary Kirsten

Top ODI Run Scorers

  • Jacques Kallis
  • AB de Villiers
  • Harshim Amla
  • Herschelle Gibbs
  • Graeme Smith

Top Test Wicket Takers

  • Dale Steyn
  • Shaun Pollock
  • Makhaya Ntini
  • Allan Donald
  • Morne Morkel

Top ODI Wicket Takers

  • Shaun Pollock
  • Allan Donald
  • Jacques Kallis
  • Makhaya Ntini
  • Dale Steyn

Major Achievements

  • Champions Trophy 1998
  • Highest ever ODI score was 439-2 v West Indies in Johannesburg
  • Highest ever Test score 682-6dec
  • Won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth games

Match Schedule