South Africa rope in adventurer to lose chokers' tag
Sydney, March 16: South Africa are turning to adventurer Mike Horn for advice on handling pressure moments as the Proteas attempt to shed the chokers' tag ahead of their World Cup quarterfinal against Sri Lanka here on Wednesday.
Despite being one of world cricket's most powerful teams since returning to the fold in 1991, the side has struggled in knockout matches of big international events, including the World Cup.
They were duped in 1992 by rain, heartbroken by a ridiculous run out in 1999 while in 2003 as hosts, they failed to progress past the group stage after miscalculating a Duckworth-Lewis target. In 2011 they lost to New Zealand in the quarters.
Horn has done more than facing cricket balls: Dominigo
Gary Kirsten and Michael Hussey have given their tips but Horn's background is vastly different, feels South Africa coach Russell Domingo. The adventurer was also invited by then India coach Kirsten to speak to the squad during their triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign.
"He's done a lot scarier things in the world than facing Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel, he's done some extreme things," Domingo was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.
"He will put it all into perspective for us over the next couple of days about what pressure and fear's like and being out of your comfort zone because he's been in that situation a lot of times with real life experiences, not just facing a cricket ball."
Horn gave an insight to the advice he gives to elite sports teams.
"I don't lose a match, I lose a life and my commitment is completely different," Horn said.
Horn’s stories are mind-boggling: Harbhajan Singh
"The stories he told us were simply mind-boggling," said Harbhajan Singh, about Horn’s interactions with the Indian team. Horn has also been involved with the Kolkata Knight Riders team and the 2014 World Cup-winning German national team.
He just took the entire squad on a sailing trip which rejuvenated the whole side prior to the tournament in Brazil last year, and Germany went on to win the World Cup.
Horn later showed his magic with the South African cricket team after Kirsten, who was managing the Proteas this time, asked the adventurer for help and he didn't disappoint as the South Africans went on to beat England in England to become the new number 1 Test team.