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Sports Minister: The Proteas should be proud of their performance

The Proteas arrived to a hero’s welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday.

Fans waited at OR Tambo International Airport to welcome them back home after their exit in the cricket World Cup. Picture: Morena Mothupi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula hailed Proteas captain AB de Villiers as a remarkable leader saying his team should be proud of their performance at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

South Africa lost to the Black Caps in Tuesday's semi-final by four wickets.

De Villiers, coach Russell Domingo and a handful of the other squad members arrived to a hero's welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday.

Watch : 'We're proud of the Proteas'

Mbalula praised de Villiers for his resilience, which filtered down to his team mates.

"You led superbly as a captain, and whenever the chips were down you never put your foot down throughout the World Cup. Encouraging the youngsters who are in the team to come back, some of them are great revelation. We never knew about [Rilee] Rossouw, he did exceptionally well, and some of them had their own challenges. But this is the game."

South African also showed their love to the team:

Earlier this week, de Villiers sent a heart-warming message in a special video to all South Africans for the support they showed throughout the Cricket World Cup tournament.

De Villiers thanked all those who braved the early mornings to watch the team play and assured the nation that they emerged out the competition a very strong Proteas team, with a lasting legacy for the coming generation.

Watch: AB de Villiers: Thank you South Africa

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