Sports

South Africa constitutes panel to probe reasons of cricket team ‘choking’

JOHANNESBURG: South African Rugby World Cup winner Francois Pienaar has been included in a four-person panel to probe consistently poor performances by the national cricket teams.

Labelled ‘chokers’ because of repeated failures to win major competitions, the Proteas failed to reach the World Twenty20 tournament semi-finals in India last month.

Pienaar skippered the Springboks to an extra-time triumph over the Jonah Lomu-inspired New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The match was watched by then-President Nelson Mandela, who wore a replica of the Pienaar shirt, and renowned director Clint Eastwood made a movie about the Springboks’ success.

Former national cricket team skipper Ali Bacher, sports physiologist Ross Tucker and Cricket South Africa (CSA) human resources official Dawn Mokhobo complete the panel.

“After performing below expectation at the recent ICC World T20, it would be right for us to undertake an objective and thorough review of our national teams’ set-up and performances,” said CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

“While we plan to do this as soon as practically possible, we do not intend to place a deadline on this important piece of work as we presently have capable people and contracts in place.

“We have time to do a thorough review before the board makes any decisions about the future,” he added.

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