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South Africa’s legend Allan Donald reflects on the long-lasting trauma after the 1999 ODI World Cup semifinal defeat against Australia

Allan Donald, one of South Africa‘s cricketing legends, shared the haunting memories of the 1999 ODI World Cup semifinal clash against Australia. This unforgettable episode occurred at Edgbaston, where South Africa was in pursuit of a 214-run target, a victory that would secure their place in the final. The last over began with just nine runs needed, and the fate of the match lay in the hands of Lance Klusener and Allan Donald.

Unforgettable match for South Africa

In a breathtaking crescendo, Klusener demonstrated exceptional poise, hammering the first two deliveries from Daniel Fleming for four, drawing the scores level. But then, in a pivotal moment etched into cricketing history, the narrative took a tragic turn. On the third ball, Donald was nearly run out, and on the fourth delivery of the over, the story took its heart-wrenching turn. Klusener played the ball towards mid-off and made a dash for the potential winning single, yet Donald, caught in a split-second of indecision, found himself stranded. Adeptly, Adam Gilchrist ran him out at the striker’s end.

The outcome was a devastating tie for South Africa, as Australia celebrated their path to the final. Despite the tied result, Australia’s previous victory over South Africa in the Super Six stage meant they advanced. This semifinal left an indelible mark on both teams and cricket fans worldwide.

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Allan Donald’s harrowing memory of the 1999 ODI World Cup Semifinal

Speaking to BBC Sports,  Donald confessed that this dramatic event had a profound and lasting impact on his life. He candidly acknowledged the difficulty of moving past the trauma it caused. However, time and a change of scenery provided some solace and distance from the ever-persistent spotlight. Donald’s tenure with Warwickshire in county cricket offered him a break from the intense focus on that heart-wrenching moment.

“I needed therapy to get over it. I couldn’t watch it. I couldn’t talk about it. But I got over it. It’s become part of me. The more I saw it, it helped. It will never leave YouTube, so I had to learn to live with it,” Donald said.

“I think it was a good thing that I was playing for Warwickshire at the time. It meant I could create a little distance. I know a lot of people back in South Africa were hurting, and they blamed me,” the 56-year-old concluded.

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