Smith ready for backlash
Graeme Smith has said South Africa will be facing "daggers and swords" when they return home after another World Cup exit.
Last Updated: 26/03/11 3:07pm
South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said his side will be facing "daggers and swords" when they return home after another World Cup exit.
The Proteas have been labelled as 'chokers' for a number of previous failures at the tournament and that term is being used again after their quarter-final defeat to New Zealand.
The Black Caps set a modest total of 221-8 in Mirpur on Friday but South Africa collapsed during the chase and were bowled out for only 172.
It means they have still never won a knockout game at a World Cup and media and fans in the country have been predictably critical.
The Citizen newspaper led with the headline, 'What a choke' on its front page on Saturday, while Afrikaans-language Beeld printed, 'Horrible! Super-chokers do it again.'
The sentiment was repeated throughout the South African press, with several other newspapers carrying the 'chokers' term.
And Smith, who had already announced that he will relinquish the one-day captaincy after the tournament, knows that the squad will face a fierce backlash.
"There's nothing I can say right now that'll make the fans feel better," he said after the match.
"We feel terrible. We've given our best and today we let ourselves down and we let a lot of people down. There's no excuses for that."
He added: "When the team goes home there's going to be daggers and swords thrown and whatever, there's a group of 25 people here that have just got to take it on the chin."
The players are set to fly home to Johannesburg on Saturday. Team coach Corrie van Zyl, who like Smith is set to step down from his role, is scheduled to appear at a news conference alongside South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Sunday.