Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat has said Mike Horn struggles with his command of the English language and has suggested it as a reason why the world-renowned adventurer may have been misquoted in the media.
The CSA boss is under fire after media reports indicated he sent an SMS to Proteas coach Russell Domingo to change the make-up of the national team before their Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand last month.
Vernon Philander, who struggled with injury throughout the tournament, was picked at the expense of an in-form Kyle Abbott which ensured the Proteas had four players of colour in their team on the day.
Lorgat strongly denied the reports, but Horn last week confirmed in an interview that there was in fact political interference.
However, shortly thereafter Horn, in a CSA press release, backtracked on his comments, claiming he was quoted out of context.
Lorgat, speaking at the launch of the new Africa T20 Cup in Johannesburg on Tuesday, said Horn’s command of the English language was not very good, Netwerk24 reports.
“I haven’t spoken to Mike. The only thing I can say is that he’s not the best in English. I think he’s been put on a spot that he should not have been put,” said Lorgat.
However, key excerpts have since emerged from Horn’s seemingly illuminating interview and they do little to confirm he was “quoted out of context”.
He had been interviewed at the Laureus Awards in Shanghai by two South African sports scribes present, Kevin McCallum of Independent Newspapers and EWN Sport’s Jean Smyth.
On Monday, EWN Sport ran a full transcript in print, insisting it was “verbatim as in the recorded (audio) interview”.
What was said by Horn only deepens suspicion that CSA has been involved in a cover-up bid or, at least, damage-limiting crusade in the last few days.
*For the record, Mike Horn was born in Johannesburg, studied Human Movement Science at the University of Stellenbosch and when he's out travelling the world, resides in Switzerland.
Late last year, Horn was interviewed in the News24 Live studio. Listen to that interview HERE.