Cape Town - Mike Horn, the motivational speaker who helped the Proteas at the recent Cricket World Cup, has confirmed that there was political interference before the semi-final against New Zealand.
Recent media reports indicated that Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat told Proteas coach Russell Domingo via SMS to pick an extra player of colour in the team before the semi-final in Auckland.
Lorgat apparently told Domingo to choose between dropping Rilee Rossouw and picking Farhaan Behardien, or dropping Kyle Abbott for Vernon Philander.
Abbott was eventually dropped, with an unfit Philander taking his place, as New Zealand went on to beat South Africa by 4 wickets in a thrilling clash.
CSA and Lorgat strongly denied the reports.
However, Horn, speaking to EWN, confirmed that there was political interference before the semi-final.
Horn said the initial plan was for the same team that crushed Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals to play against the Kiwis in the semi-finals.
Horn said the players were clearly unhappy about what transpired and that he was tasked with re-motivating them for the semi-finals.
Horn was hard on himself though, saying it didn’t matter that “politics or quotas influenced the players” and that he thought he “failed a bit” in his job as motivator or as high performance coach.