Faf du Plessis, the former South African skipper, opened up about his traumatic experience after the World Cup 2011 quarter finals defeat against New Zealand where they failed to chase an easy total.
Opting to bat first, Kiwis put up a paltry 221/8 in their allotted fifty overs. Jesse Ryder (83) was the highest scorer for the Black Caps and assisted by a cameo from Ross Taylor (43) that helped their side to reach the meagre total.
In response, the Proteas were cruising at 121-4 when a terrible mix-up between du Plessis and their in-form batter AB de Villiers left them shattered as the latter departed after making 35 runs. South Africans tried to clamp their batting line-up but were barraged by wickets falling at regular intervals, which left Graeme Smith and Co. 49 runs short of their target. Thus, the African side had to exit the ICC event.
Recalling the horrendous incident, du Plessis stated that he had to face flak along with his wife on social media. They were attacked ad hominem, and fans went as far as giving them death threats.
“I received death threats after that [match]. My wife received death threats. We turned on social media and we were blown away. It became very personal. There were some very offensive things said that I won’t repeat,” du Plessis was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo’s Cricket Monthly.
The 36-year-old batter also asserted that the maligning circumstances left the couple introverted as they tried to create a small haven for themselves in the community.
“It makes you introverted towards people and you put a shield up. All players go through this and it forces us to keep our circles very small. It’s why I’ve worked so hard on creating a safe space within our camp,” du Plessis revealed.
Du Plessis retired from Test cricket in February this year to focus more on the shorter formats of the game.