Proteas are a quarter to Chaile!
Consistency is often a great attribute, but not when you consistently fail to com out on top. Effort is certainly something to admire, but surely even the Proteas feel they need to finally win a Cricket World Cup. South Africa has come so close so often that the team has been tagged "chokers".
Who can forget the 1999 World Cup semi finals where Proteas lost by an odd run to Australia? The nerves of the entire nation and the team could be left from every TV screen from Gugulethu to Grahamstown. If it were possible the entire nation could have made that run on behalf of Proteas. But alas. History repeated itself in 2007 where the two nations faced up again, yet again in the semis and the Aussies came out on top.
Fast forward to the previous World Cup where Proteas also came close but no cigar, losing in the quarterfinal against New Zealand. South Africa has also lost against England & West Indies in their quest to lift the Cricket World Cup. fitting that they enlisted the services of adventurer and climber Mike Horn to motivate the team last year.
Mike Horn became famous in 2001 after completing a solo journey around the equator without motorized transport. In 2004 he completed a two-year, 3-month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle and in 2006 along with Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland, became the first man to travel without dog or motorized transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness. He is a well-known motivator with a history and story of triumph to back it up. Mike will be spending some time with the Proteas team led by AB De Villiers and he'll be hoping his story of success against all odds will inspire the team to victory against Sri Lanka tomorrow morning.
Proteas have the entire nation behind them, we are all fueling the #ProteaFire but it's going to take self belief and determination (and perhaps overcoming the mental block of being called "chokers") to progress beyond Sri Lanka. If the team doesn't believe in itself, then all our combined support won't help at all. The team needs to believe, needs to blow their own horn and needs to behave like the world beaters they are.
Here is an interview with Mike Horn and Sports Talk's Udo Carelse from the archives where Mike Horn speaks about what he said to the team at the previous World Cup.
Matches are often won by stroke of genius or stroke of luck, but certain factors influence the result in more or less ways. Looking at the match tomorrow, here are 3 factors that could sway the match either way...
1 - It's been well-documented that if Proteas win the toss and elect to bat first, they are often guaranteed to run away with victory.
2 - The team selection is a difficult one as every man in the team should be ready and able to take one for the team, but selectors will not be sleeping a wink trying to come up with a winning combination. Sri Lanka has a team good enough to win any World Cup, with individual brilliance from the likes of Kumar Sangakkara so the Proteas team selection will have to take into account these factors.
3 - AB de Villiers seems to be a one-man team and his amazing powers will amount to nothing if Proteas lose in the quarterfinal to Sri Lanka, but he remains a very important pillar and the leader par excellence. Another name that comes to mind is Dale Steyn, who on his best day, can cause serious damage to opposition.
So what will Mike Horn be saying to the team by way of motivation?
Does the team need any more motivation?
Isn't the fact that they haven't won a single World Cup trophy motivation enough?
What do you think it'll take to advance to the semi finals and hopefully win the World Cup?
Share your views here and support the Proteas against Sri Lanka tomorrow!