THE World Cup season may be on the horizon again but South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl insists no extra emphasis will be placed on the tournament.

The Proteas began their presummer training this week ahead of a packed calendar that includes series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India.

That will be followed by the World Cup early next year when Graeme Smith and his team will be looking to end their barren run at ICC-affiliated competitions.

They have not won a trophy under the banner of the world governing body for 12 years and again flopped in their latest attempt at the World Twenty20 in May.

But Van Zyl, who is leading the team for the first time in pre-season following his appointment in February, believes the biggest priority should be to win each game.

“We want to focus on each series as it comes and each one will be another stepping stone for the team towards the World Cup,” he said.

“I don’t want the World Cup to become a huge thing. It is just another step in the process.

“If we focus too much on the World Cup, the players get too tense.

“And we also can’t focus so much on it at the expense of the Test squad, which will always be a priority.

“We need to win those series against Pakistan and against India.”

Van Zyl’s previous job has been to run the country’s high-performance centre and he is back in familiar surroundings to help condition the players ahead of the season.

He continued: ‘‘It’s the first step for the coming season.

It’s all part of the bigger strategy that we have worked out.

‘‘We have worked out what we need to do to better ourselves going forward.”