Tshwane Spartans wanted to win the Mzansi Super League‚ says AB de Villiers

The Tshwane Spartans captain AB de Villiers speaks to the media after his team at SuperSport Park on December 12 2018.
The Tshwane Spartans captain AB de Villiers speaks to the media after his team at SuperSport Park on December 12 2018.
Image: Lee Warren

The Tshwane Spartans spectacularly failed to impress in the inaugural Mzansi Super League (MSL) because they could not build momentum‚ according to their captain AB de Villiers.

The Spartans finished second-from-bottom with four wins and six losses‚ failing to reach the playoffs‚ and former Proteas captain De Villiers said the team are disappointed because they wanted to win the tournament.

The Spartans' campaign ended on a disappointing note when they lost to the Durban Heat by two wickets on Wednesday despite De Villiers’s unbeaten knock of 93 off 52 balls‚ which included 11 boundaries and four maximums.

“Obviously it is disappointing because you always want to win cricket matches and winning the tournament was part of our plan‚” said De Villiers‚ who won’t be playing in the forthcoming Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia to spend time with his family.

De Villiers admitted that Spartans failed to click as a team and in some games did not have the temperament to deal with pressure moments.

“We were too inconsistent and you can’t afford to do that in a 10-game tournament because everything goes by quickly.

"You have to click as quickly as possible like the Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars did by putting together four to five wins‚ and put yourselves in a good position.

“We were cold for most parts of the tournament and found it difficult to get some momentum going.

“If you look at past experiences‚ teams that have won T20 tournaments are not always the best or with the most talent. Guys just click at the right time.

“I can talk about our batting‚ bowling and there were a couple of moments where we threw it away and other teams played better under pressure than us.”

Giving his assessment of the tournament‚ De Villiers said that‚ though there was always room for improvement‚ he was happy to be part of the experience.

“I am proud to have been involved in this tournament and I believe it will prove to be great for South African cricket. Especially for the youngsters who will get opportunities to play under pressure and against some of the best players in the world‚” he said.

“Some of the batters will tell you that facing Rashid Khan is not easy but that is great because you can’t buy that kind of experience.

“Obviously there were obstacles here and there but I am happy with the way things were handled.

“I believe this tournament will be better in the coming few years with more international players getting involved to improve quality of the cricket. There was a nice flavour of international players this year but hopefully there will be more next year.”

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