Cricket South Africa’s chief executive has heaped pressure on Proteas coach Ottis Gibson by indicating a spot in the World Cup final may be required for him to earn a contract extension.

South Africa have never made a World Cup final and have an unhappy history of ignominious exits in the knockout stages of the 50-over showpiece tournament, having been eliminated in semi-finals on four occasions (twice by Australia).

CSA chief Thabang Moroe said this week that while Gibson would not be encumbered by racial transformation targets – commonly known as 'quotas' – for the Proteas' playing XI in this year's tournament, expectations are high.

"Ottis was hired to win the World Cup but at the very least, the chairperson of the (CSA) Board said he must qualify for the final," said Moroe.

"But it is for the Board to evaluate his performances, his KPIs with what he's achieved for us thus far, what changes they would like to see, and they will obviously communicate that to (CSA) management and then management will sit with the coach.

"It is also up to the coach to look at the terms of any new contract and if he's agreeable to those."

Gibson, who was appointed in August 2017 with a mandate to win trophies, has expressed a desire to continue on in the role.

The Proteas are expected to name their World Cup squad on April 18 and the players will gather for a week-long training camp in Cape Town before heading to England.

They will play Sri Lanka in Cardiff and the West Indies in Bristol in their two warm-up matches before opening the tournament against hosts England on May 30 at The Oval in south London.

South Africa's racial transformation targets were in effect in the 2015 World Cup when the side picked by Russell Domingo included Vernon Philander, who was recovering from an injury, ahead of the in-form Kyle Abbott for their semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

Moroe said there would be no repeat of that this year.

"No targets have been given. It's up to the convener of selectors and the coach and captain to decide what the final 15 will look like," Moroe said.

"I would like to think that they will have that sort of (transformation) picture in mind and most importantly they will choose the final 15 that represents the best that we have in the country.

"The other thing is that they will have comfort that the team can go out there to win the tournament.

"We have always taken a stance that we don't know what the playing conditions will be like on a given match day. So the final 11 will follow an agreement between the convener of selectors together with the coach and captain on a particular day.

"It will be their decision who the players that are going to represent all of us as South Africans are. They will pick a team that is suitable to win a specific match and not to push a certain agenda."

South Africa were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 1992 World Cup – their first – when the rain rules at the time left them needing 22 runs from a single delivery. A Brian Lara century bundled them out in Karachi in 1996 when they dropped Alan Donald on a seamer's paradise of a pitch, and were famously beaten twice by Australia in the Super Sixes and semi-final of the 1999 World Cup.

On home soil in 2003, then captain Shaun Pollock got his Duckworth-Lewis sums wrong as Mark Boucher blocked out the last over of the match thinking they had enough to beat Sri Lanka as rain began falling, only to fall a run short and be eliminated in the group stages.

In 2007, the Proteas were blasted away by a new-ball blitz from Shaun Tait and Glenn McGrath in a St Lucia semi-final while in a rancorous 2011 quarter-final with New Zealand Faf du Plessis ran out AB de Villiers and the Proteas crumbled to another early exit.

The 2015 semi-final in Auckland was a thriller: the Proteas set a target of 298 and seemed well on top only for de Villiers and Quinton de Kock to both fluff run out chances while Farhaan Behardien and JP Duminy all-but collided attempting a catch neither took. Grant Elliott then smashed Dale Steyn for six to win with a ball to spare.

Since Gibson's appointment in 2017, South Africa have won 11 of 17 Tests, including a memorable series win against Australia last March when the visitors were embroiled in a ball tampering scandal. They lost all four Tests against Sri Lanka – two abroad and two at home, which was an Asian nation's first Test win in South Africa.

They've also won 20 of 30 ODIs including a 2-1 series win on Australian soil last November but lost five of six matches to India on home soil. They've also won 10 of 15 T20 internationals.