What he said:
“I’m seeing a lot of ads about Protea Fire. I guess Cape Town will be blazing, but with a maroon flame.”
The West Indians may have conceded the Test series to South Africa 2-0 but are in no mood to relinquish their exalted T20 specialists status. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and André Russell are back in the squad after plying their trade all over the world in Twenty-Twenty circuses.
The ‘Protea Fire’ referred to is a moving TV commercial #ProteaFire that promotes the unity despite diversity theme of the South African cricket side.
“In effect #ProteaFire is the cricket team’s mission statement – their identity and culture, their ethos, mantra and belief in each other and the nation.”
SA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, said:
“This is a truly unique and authentic campaign because it is exactly what the Proteas believe in. It comes directly from the team and it is no creative or marketing campaign.
No country has been through what SA has and our country needs all the inspiration it can get.
Clearly the Proteas are our inspiration. As a team they have invested time to understand what it means for them to represent South Africa and now the team wishes all South Africans to know more about who they are, whom they play for and what it means to be a Protea.
We respected their wishes and that’s why we got right behind them to ensure this campaign came to life.”
JP Duminy said:
“#ProteaFire is about humility, resilience, courage, adaptability, unity and respect; these are key attributes of our rich and diverse country. #ProteaFire isn’t just about what happens on the field, it’s also about how we carry ourselves during our daily tasks. We hope that we can inspire and help shape our country by our actions on and off the field.”
Hashim Amla added:
“Despite the reality of our diverse backgrounds, religious beliefs and social upbringings, our common understanding has created a common purpose in the team that is built on our passion to represent South Africa. The real task is to get people to behave in a new way of thinking, rather than to think themselves into a new way of behaving.”
Faf du Plessis, the Blue Label T20 captain, said:
“The Proteas have developed an amazing team culture and the joy of representing South Africa is the driving force in making us want to play for all South Africans.”
What Sammy really meant:
“It’s time for the real thing—T20 fireworks and no one does it better than the boys in maroon. What say, IPL, BPL, SLPL, BBL fans? You agree, right?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“That #ProteaFire promo is no ‘Fire in Babylon’, is it?”