T20 World Cup: South Africa paceman Parnell channelling Ronaldo ahead of crunch Netherlands clash

By Sports Desk November 05, 2022

Wayne Parnell explained the motivation he takes from Cristiano Ronaldo as the bowler looked towards South Africa's T20 World Cup clash with the Netherlands.

Ronaldo has altered his goal celebration as of late, replacing his famous "Siu" with a "peace of mind" gesture, seemingly in response to his trouble at Manchester United this season.

It is a celebration that has been copied at the T20 World Cup by South Africa paceman Parnell, standing with his eyes closed, fingers crossed in front of his chest and his head rolled back.

Parnell has taken five wickets so far in Australia, helping South Africa to two victories in Group 2. Ahead of their final match of the pool stage against the Netherlands on Sunday, the Proteas sit in second place, and a victory over the Dutch would guarantee their place in the last four.

And in his pre-match press conference, Parnell explained how he takes inspiration from one of the world's finest footballers.

He said: "It's the Ronaldo celebration. He has always been one of my favourite footballers, and I've obviously followed his career quite closely.

"And I think I've kind of taken on some stuff that he has been going through, you know, as a professional athlete and someone that's very competitive and passionate about doing well.

"That's something that I've always wanted to do as well is contribute to the team's success."

It is not all about emulating an idol, though. For Parnell, it is also about enjoying playing in front of crowds again following the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just about having fun as well," Parnell added, "I think, you know, we're very lucky to be playing this sport and to be able to do it on this world stage.

"Obviously, there's no COVID, so we have fans back, and it's just about entertaining everyone."

Looking ahead to South Africa's must-win game on Sunday, Parnell said: "I think now it's just really simple. If you actually look at it, tomorrow is basically a quarter-final. Then obviously if we win that, we go to a semi-final. If we win that, we go to the final.

"In a way it's actually worked out well where we are under a certain amount of pressure to obviously get through, but I always like to look at it from a positive point of view where it's basically a quarter-final. It's just about winning it really."

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