A failed World Cup campaign is not the end of the world for South Africa, said the country's Cricketers' Association (SACA) as it threw its weight behind the beleaguered squad in the wake of its quarterfinal exit from the mega event.

“The players naturally remain very disappointed, just like the rest of the cricketing fraternity, and we understand the concern and heartache of the South Africans,” SACA chief executive Tony Irish told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

“To South African supporters it feels like the team has left them in the lurch, but we do not share the feeling of many people that all is now lost for cricket in our country.”

The Proteas, especially outgoing captain Graeme Smith, have come under heavy fire in the past week after a dramatic batting collapse led to a 49-run loss to New Zealand.

This raised renewed concerns about the inability of the team to perform when under pressure in major tournaments. “There are so many exciting and talented players in the future of the Proteas and in that of the six local franchises,” Irish told the daily.

“South African cricket is healthy, keeps growing, and we will support our players as we have done for the past decade.”

According to Irish, SACA will concentrate on finding ways to get the Proteas to achieve success in major ICC tournaments.

The South Africans have only won one ICC tournament, the first Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998. — PTI

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper