Smith plays down 'chokers' tag

Published: Friday, June 19, 2009, 10:17 [IST]
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Nottingham: South African skipper Graeme Smith hates his team branded as chokers despite failing to make the final of the World Twenty20.

South Africa, hot favourites after five straight wins in the tournament, were knocked out by Pakistan in a seven-run defeat in Thursday's semi-final.This is the fourth time as they have gone out at the semi-final stage of a major ICC tournament.

'Every time we lose an important game, that word, chokers, is thrown around," a disappointed Smith said after the match.

'But we have played great cricket and I am proud of the way the guys have performed. During the last couple of years we have been on an upward curve and the team will improve and get stronger and stronger."

This is the fourth time as they have gone out at the semi-final stage of a ICC tournament.

Smith said the semi-final loss hurt, but conceded Pakistan were the better team and deserved to win.'It is obviously disappointing and sad to be leaving the tournament now," he said.

'We have played some great cricket in this tournament and played some great cricket in the semi-final. But Pakistan brought their 'A' game to this match and every cog worked well for them."

'Afridi was the difference. His four overs brought Pakistan back into the game. We lost our way and never got back into it."


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