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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 27, 2019

JP Duminy

Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England, UK

Q. JP, does you being at the press conference mean you are going to get a game tomorrow?
JP DUMINY: We'll find out later after practice. Team selection is after practice, so I'm hoping that there is an opportunity, yes (smiling). Two games left, it would be nice to end playing a game in a World Cup, yeah.

Q. JP, how disappointing would it have been to have come to this World Cup and only played three games after you have already announced you will be retiring from ODI cricket?
JP DUMINY: It is disappointing, yes. It is not the biggest disappointment. If I had played three games and we had made a play-off, or fought for the title, I think anyone, particularly myself, would be in a lot happier position.

I think the most disappointing part has been our team performance and I think it will be amiss of me not to mention how disappointed we are particularly letting all our fans down back home. It's been pretty dismal from our part and we wish we could point out one thing that, or the reason why we haven't performed, you know.

I think we've put in a lot of effort in terms of our preparation, in terms of our strategy, going out there with a good mindset, a strong mindset. But, unfortunately, we haven't been able to produce and executed our plans and that's been the most disappointing part for all of us, including myself.

And yeah, we obviously want to apologise to the public and the South African fans for letting them down. You know when you represent your country it is always a proud moment and you understand that you represent 50, 60 million people, that is a proud moment in itself.

And when you put in performances like that, you know, you in a way almost feel ashamed of that. But we know that it's not all lost, even though yes, it's a World Cup and I believe that this team will come back stronger. There will be some sort of introspection around where we have gone wrong, and that's going to be some conversations ahead post-World Cup and, as I said, I believe that we will come back stronger.

Q. JP, it's a slightly different, well maybe a very different dynamic for you because you'd already announced you were retiring and that. Just maybe if you can give us some insight into how this tournament has felt for you because you are retiring at the end, compared to some of the other guys who still have a future, who still have to carry on and pick up the pieces if you like?
JP DUMINY: (Smiling) The last thing I would have thought is playing the first three games and being left out, particularly after a retirement call. But that's the nature of the beast, you know. You're never guaranteed a selection.

Nobody -- everybody has an opportunity not to be selected if you are not putting in performances.

It's a bittersweet moment for me, you know, wanting to end off on a real high in terms of international one-day cricket, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be and I think the important thing for me is when you reflect post-World Cup as to see where I could have done better, but also you're kind of in a space of awe.

Why I say that is because you are sort of looking back not only on a World Cup, you are looking back on a 15-year career and that's something that I'm very proud of and very grateful for.

To be able to date play 197 games, it is not something that I've thought about or dreamt of being a young boy. So those are the sort of positives that you will take away. But yes, it is a little bit different for guys that will carry on because, as you said, they have to pick up some of the pieces that have fallen in this World Cup.

But I think that is what makes a strong South African team. We have always been resilient, we have always had opportunities to come back and that is why I said there will be opportunities to come back and I have no doubt that this team will come back stronger and be even more prepared and driven to put in a really a good performance in four years' time.

Q. If you can elaborate on that, what that process looks like? When the guys get home, what does Cricket South Africa do in terms of taking those steps to recover from this?
JP DUMINY: I wish I could give you an answer. I'm not sure. Obviously, we heard reports that heads will roll.

If I look at our management staff, and the amount of work they have put in over the last two years...

And it's always a difficult one when they bear the most brunt of our performances. The important thing for us is to take responsibility for that and sort of stand up and be man enough to know that you know we have come up short. They have given us the support. They have given us all the backing that we need to go out there and put in big performances, but we are the ones that have come up short.

So in terms of the decisions that Cricket South Africa make, that's out of my hands. I wouldn't -- I don't know what decisions will be made. But going on the back of previous World Cups, there will probably be some shifting and I think that's the reality that we all understand.

What shifting will take place, that's out of my hands, but it's important for us to be accountable for our actions.

Q. JP, is there a -- we all know South Africans in this room about Vision 2019 and all of these things that went into this World Cup in terms of planning and everything else. It was possibly South Africa's most ever-planned World Cup. And the team have been so utterly uncompetitive in most of their games. Does that make you think that science is lying? Is it a worry that -- if you do all that, how can it go so badly? Is that a worry?
JP DUMINY: I wouldn't say it's a worry in that science is a liar. I think it's a combination of a few things. I think you have to understand what play science has in the game. I've always been a big fan of the mental side of the game, so that is an important facet that we need to make sure we cover.

Are things put in place for us to be mentally fresh, mentally strong when it comes to the pressure moments of the game? So, that's -- those are kind of things that we want to reflect on.

In terms of our preparation, were guys fresh? Were guys technically sound? There's a whole host of things that one can reflect on and point fingers at, but I'm always going to come back to the fact that, particularly at this level, you are accountable for your own game.

There's a lot of mature guys in this team that have been around for two or three World Cups and, unfortunately, we haven't had the answers for the questions that have been posed at us this World Cup and that's a difficult pill to swallow.

With myself, this has been my third World Cup, coming here, pretty confident that I can put in big performances for the team and not being able to do that. I walk away feeling pretty disappointed with that and I think everybody will have that self-reflection and, for me, that's the most important thing.

Q. JP, you have been around quite a long time. And you have seen a lot of things happen. It does look like this time there is a lot more kind of outside stuff going on and I'm wondering... You have seen administrations change and so on. How much has the outside stuff played a role in what is going on here? How much do you think about SACA taking CSA to court etc?
JP DUMINY: Honestly, I think it's had no part. We've been strong, particularly the leadership of the team. We have been strong in the fact we have created a bubble and there are certain things that we understand where that sits. It sets outside the bubble.

So coming here, that has been the last thing on our mind. We had one mission, and that was to play really good cricket in this World Cup and give yourselves a good chance to get into the play-offs and take it from there.

Unfortunately, we have come up short and our skills haven't been good enough on this trip. From a batting perspective, you know, nobody's stood up to score hundreds, partnerships, no hundreds. From a bowling perspective, we had opportunities, but unfortunately we have never closed it down.

So, those are the things that we need to reflect on, you know.

Outside influences: We are mature group of men that have come along for a long way and we can't use that as an excuse. We are professionals and I think we've created a good environment and a culture that understands how to block out the negativity and we know that there is a job at hand and we have got to find a way to get it done.

Q. Looking ahead post-World Cup, your plans? You are playing t20 cricket. Are there coaching plans? Commentary plans? There must be vacancies coming up. Is that part of the plan going forward?
JP DUMINY: (Laughter) I haven't looked that far. Obviously, got a few t20 leagues lined up and just taking it series by series and seeing how things unfold.

With getting older, the body takes its toll, so kind of assessing that, understanding where my family is, young family growing you want, so I want to be at home, and just kind of planning and thinking about what's next in terms of post-playing cricket.

Obviously, I had a few stints in the commentary box which I enjoyed and hopefully I don't chirp the current players too much (smiling).

Q. JP, your career, will always be remembered for that 166 you got in Australia, but inconsistencies as you have gone along, how much are you using these two games if you are selected to leave on a real high note and be remembered for a hundred tomorrow?
JP DUMINY: I don't say this boastfully, I say this because I think it's the honest truth.

For me, legacy is not in performance. I think legacy is the person you are. And, for me, it's about being a good person, it's about influencing people in the right way. So that, for me, is the biggest legacy.

There is no doubt that I want to put in a big performance for the team, for the public, for the fans that have supported us through thick and thin.

But, for me, the legacy lies in when people look back, or think of you and they've had the opportunity to interact with you. I don't think a hundred is the thing they remember. They remember the impact you had on their life and I think that is the most important thing for me.

The friendships that I have formed with this group of men that we have and previously before, those are the things that I will hold on to.

You know, playing for South Africa, there is no doubt that performance is one of the most important things and it doesn't stop you from wanting to put in big performances but ultimately, for me, that is not the end all and be all.

Q. JP, you said post-World Cup how motivated are you guys to stop Sri Lanka in having a chance of qualifying for the semifinals? They still have a couple of games left, about tomorrow's game?
JP DUMINY: No, I wouldn't say that's a mission of ours. I think the important mission for us is to play good cricket. The cricket we know and the brand we know we are capable of playing and I think if we do that, particularly tomorrow, and the game against Australia, we give ourselves the best chance of beating them.

We played good cricket against Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka a few months ago and recently in South Africa, so we know we can beat them. We can put in big performances but the important thing is to look introspectively and how we are going to do that.

We don't have a grudge against Sri Lanka to want to kick them out of the World Cup. It is not about that. I think the important thing for us is to make sure we put in a big performance.

Q. JP, you touched a bit on the comments that have been made by former players. Do you feel as though that just becomes part of the job, that you become critical of the national team, especially when the team hasn't performed? You yourself, you have been in this position before in the commentary box. What does the leadership group, the guys like Hash, Faf, yourself who have been here for a long time think about that sort of criticism and does it harm the team?
JP DUMINY: I think there will be certain guys that will take it personally, but again like I mentioned earlier about the bubble, those kind of things stay outside of the bubble and we try and keep it out as much as possible.

But the difficulty with that is certain guys will have relationships with past players and if a past player has a comment, whether it is a negative or positive, or whatever it may be, it can possibly affect certain players.

The important thing for me is that we understand the context of where it comes from and why it is coming from there.

I think a big part of it is that past players still feel a part of a team and they feel the sort of pain possibly of the poor performance and they want to see guys putting in big performances, but when you have agendas, that is something that's out of our control and we have -- it's difficult for us to have a say over that because we don't understand the agenda, where it comes from, what's the meaning behind it and that is why it's important for us to keep it outside of the bubble as best as possible.

At the moment, the most important thing is what's inside and that is this group of players and the management and we need to try and look after them as best as possible so whatever happens outside, that's their own prerogative and at the end of the day, they know the real reason why they are saying what they are saying and that is out of our control.

Q. Sri Lanka's coach said that once a team has been knocked out of the World Cup, they can either rock up to the field playing with freedom, or with one foot already on the plane. You guys probably want the former to happen. How do you make sure that that's what happens then?
JP DUMINY: I think that's a personal thing. From a leadership point of view, you can speak about that but ultimately you need to make that decision for yourself.

Is your foot on the plane or does that give you a sense of freedom? I 100 percent agree with the freedom. Just go out and play your natural game, your naturally-gifted game.

And that's not a cop-out. That is just an understanding that you have almost the licence to just go out and play with the freedom that you were allowed to play with almost as a young kid and play with a smile on your face, play to enjoy the game and that's the kind of mentality that I certainly want to end my international one-day career with.

Just enjoying, having fun with my friends on the field and understand what a huge privilege it was to represent my country so many times and you should never take that for granted and if any of us has one foot on the plane, that means you are taking it for granted. And that is definitely something that we don't encourage.

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