Chester-le-Street, June 27: JP Duminy has issued an apology to South Africa's fans as they prepare to face the consequences of a disappointing Cricket World Cup campaign.
A string of insipid performances in England mean South Africa head into their penultimate fixture against Sri Lanka, which takes place on Friday at The Riverside, having won just one of seven matches.
Duminy is retiring from ODIs after the tournament following a 15-year career, so has taken any decision about his future out of the hands of the national selectors.
But there could be repercussions for some of his team-mates, with the futures of captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson ripe for discussion.
Players who have underperformed in this tournament could find themselves discarded by the time South Africa begin a tour of India in September.
"We had one mission," Duminy told the media. "That was to play really good cricket in this World Cup and give ourselves a good chance to get into the play-offs and take it from there.
"Unfortunately, we have come up short and our skills haven't been good enough on this trip."
The 35-year-old all-rounder said the team's performance had been "pretty dismal", adding: "We obviously want to apologise to the public and the South African fans for letting them down.
"When you represent your country it is always a proud moment and you understand that you represent 50, 60 million people, that is a proud moment in itself.
"And when you put in performances like that, you in a way almost feel ashamed of that."
He predicted the Proteas would "come back stronger" after "some sort of introspection around where we have gone wrong".
But South Africa's squad are aware of the talk from back home. Asked what steps Cricket South Africa might take in the aftermath, Duminy said: "I wish I could give you an answer. I'm not sure. Obviously, we heard reports that heads will roll."
He mounted a defence of team management and expressed his regret that they were the first to be blamed.
"They have given us all the backing that we need to go out there and put in big performances, but we are the ones that have come up short," Duminy said.
"In terms of the decisions that Cricket South Africa make, that's out of my hands. But going on the back of previous World Cups, there will probably be some shifting and I think that's the reality that we all understand."