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Mike Horn: Proteas team selection was interfered with

This comes despite the CSA denying there was interference in the selection of the CWC semifinal team.

FILE: The Proteas. Picture: Cricket South Africa via Twitter

SHANGHAI - The Proteas high performance coach and renowned explorer, Mike Horn, says that he was required to provide additional support at the World Cup ahead of their semifinal against New Zealand following a change in team selection to meet apparent 'quota' requirements.

That's in direct contrast to the message that has been consistently relayed by the leadership of Cricket South Africa (CSA) despite numerous sources attesting otherwise.

CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and his deputy Gert Oosthuizen, have denied having had any hand at all in changing the make-up of the team to include the in-form Kyle Abbott ahead of Vernon Philander who had struggled with injury during the tournament.

Lorgat also rejected out of hand that he'd sent a message to the selectors specifically instructing them to alter the make-up of the side from the one that beat Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals.

None of the team management or players have been made available for interviews since reports of ructions over the selection made their way into the media.

Horn was speaking ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Shanghai last night and says that whatever decision was taken he accepts personal responsibility for not enabling them to overcome the subsequent unhappiness ahead of the match…

"It is what it is, I take it as it is. It doesn't matter how politics or the quota influenced the players. I think I failed a bit in my job as motivator or as high performance coach in the way that I believed the Proteas could win the World Cup."

Horn confirms that the team was indeed changed from the one that was originally selected for the game, flying in the face of what's been publicly stated.

"What actually happened was the team was the team that played against Sri Lanka. We're not going into any politics, but it had a role to play. I had to do a little bit of talk to the guys after the team was selected and a little bit of energy was taken away from the quarterfinals where the right team played."

That saw Horn's role shift as he now how re-motivate a team that was clearly unhappy with what had transpired.

"My job was to basically say that, 'listen guys now we have to give a little bit more than we gave before. We have to fill gaps and now we have to make the difference with less but give more, in a way."