Mark Boucher Britain Australia South Africa New Zealand India cricket Proteas Mark Boucher Britain Australia South Africa New Zealand India

Tidy R8.8m ICC reward for Proteas' improved Test form, but cloud still hangs over red-ball future

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The Proteas' improved showing in the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship has been met with a tidy increase in prize money.

World Test championship standings They'll bag $450 000 (R8.8 million) after finishing third during the two-year cycle, improving markedly from the inaugural edition, where a lowly haul of percentage of points won out of points contested of 44% left them in fifth.That figure improved to 56% as the South Africans made some strides, notably winning a white-knuckle home series against India and brilliantly salvaging the away trip to New Zealand, where they were thrashed in the opening Test before roaring back to square the series.A feature of this campaign was the Proteas' encouraging habit of proving tough to beat at home.Seven Tests were played on South African soil, of which they won six and only lost once.However, it was their away form that left much to be desired as they lost both their series in England and Australia.The latter came against the backdrop of Mark Boucher's sudden departure and Malibongwe Maketa being thrust into an interim head coaching role, with somewhat unsurprising results.Had it not been for rain and a belated rearguard from the batters in the third Test in Sydney, South Africa would've been whitewashed 3-0.They will feel the skirmish against England was a lost opportunity.Having comprehensively disposed of their hosts at Lord's in the opening Test, a suspect decision to bat first in the second Test proved a springboard for the Proteas batters' fragile confidence crumbling, allowing the English to take advantage.One more win in the UK - which was more likely than a victory Down Under - would've bumped the Proteas' percentage up to 62.2%, enough to claim second place and a

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