Dubai, Aug 3: Former South Africa fast bowler Allan Donald has said the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 provided him the opportunity to show his talent and potential on a global stage.
The White Lightening finished as the sixth most successful bowler in the tournament with 13 wickets and inspired his side to the semi-final, where it lost to England by 19 runs. In all, South Africa played nine matches wining five and losing four, including the semi-final.
"The ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 was the opportunity to showcase my talent and skill against some of the best in the world," Donald said, adding: "It proved to me as a bowler that I was capable of competing against the best in the world.
"I went into that World Cup as thoroughly prepared as possible. For four years leading up to the event I would spend almost 12 months playing cricket between South Africa and the United Kingdom. I quickly developed my own style and sense for ODI cricket."
Donald's best bowling figures of 10-0-34-3 helped South Africa to restrict Australia to 170 for nine at Sydney in the side's first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup match. Jonty Rhodes was one of the three South Africa players who made their international debuts in this match, which South Africa won by nine wickets, thanks to captain Kepler Wessels' unbeaten 81 that earned him the man of the match award against his former side.
Donald, who finished his chequered career with 272 ODI and 330 Test wickets, said Wessels' knowledge about the conditions in Australia helped the Proteas prepare as best as they could for its first international tournament on its return to the circuit.
"I think Kepler's experience of Australia conditions helped us a lot. His first bit of advice was not to be overawed by where we were going. The pitches were slightly quicker in Australia, something that we were used to and slower in New Zealand, something that we adapted to. The huge grounds in Australia did take some getting used to though," recalled Donald.
Donald said the South Africa side was extremely excited to be participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 but didn't know what to expect. "We had just come out of isolation and we knew that the World Cup was the biggest event we could hope for as our first assignment, I don't think we could have asked for a more premier event to get back onto the international stage.
"We were excited, we didn't know what to expect. We had read about it in the papers, spoken to people who had played before, but you can never prepare for what you experience. The best part for me was the opportunity to have a crack against the best cricketers in the world."
For the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the fixtures and pools for which were announced earlier in the week, South Africa has been pooled with defending champion India, 1992 winner Pakistan, two-time world champion West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Qualifier 4 in Pool B.
Asked his advice for fast bowlers appearing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Donald said: "I don't think I can really give tips that most bowlers around the world don't already know. Back then we used to tour Australia once every four years, these days teams travel there quiet often.
"Every cricketer that goes there in 2015 will know and understand what conditions to expect. Coaches these days have more information than we did back then, so I reckon every team and player will go there well prepared for what to expect," concluded Donald, who is currently South Africa's fast bowling coach.