Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi (AFP Photo)

South Africa might be the designated chokers of the cricket world but it’s a tag they are least bothered as they go into the ICC World Cup 2019 later this year with a clean slate.

In the previous edition of the quadrennial tournament, South Africa were knocked out in a dramatic semi-final leaving the then skipper AB de Villiers in tears.

As South Africa fine tune their squad for the World Cup in England, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi believes the current setup has the potential to win the coveted trophy that has long eluded.

“As a team, you don’t see it as choking,” Ngidi, who is recovering from a knee injury, told reporters on the sidelines of Cricket World Cup Trophy tour. “People are allowed to play good cricket on the day. It’s all international teams so you can’t tell me you’re not going to lose a semifinal game.”

He added, “It is tough [to win a semifinal], and it hasn’t been able to be done in the past, but it could happen this year. That chokers tag is created by people, but I wouldn’t say it affects the team.”

Ngidi, who is a World Cup hopeful, feels Proteas will enter the tournament without the weight of history on their shoulders. “We’ve got nothing to lose. It (winning the World Cup) has never been done before by the cricket team, so we’re going there with a clean slate,” he said.

South Africa will start their campaign when they take on hosts England on May 30 in the tournament opener at Kennington Oval.