After seemingly confirming in the week that there was political interference in team selection at the World Cup, the Proteas’ high performance coach Mike Horn has now changed his story saying his remarks were ‘taken out of context’.
Horn has sent a letter to Cricket South Africa apologising for the controversy he caused when he said that the team who played in the quarter-final against Sri Lanka was changed for the semi-final after it it had already been chosen.
CSA released a statement on Saturday where Horn clarified his comments made to the media on Thursday.
He confirmed that he is not aware of any political interference in the selection of the team for the World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand.
‘First of all I apologise for this controversy. If this event would hurt the feelings of the management team and the players, it was not my intention and I sincerely apologise,’ Horn stated in his letter.
‘The story has been taken completely out of context, it’s a load of hot air but I guess this is what the press like and feed on,’ Horn expressed in the letter.
Horn also further clarified his comments on team selection.
He explained what he said was that there was a changed team from the quarter-final and not a team changed once it had been selected for the semi-final.
Horn said that the point he was trying to make was the fact that he personally felt that he had failed in his job as motivator or performance coach and accepted responsibility for not helping to get the team across the line.
‘I confirm what I said in the sound bytes and the written articles, but the way it was written was not my sense of what had happened but the interpretation of someone else. I must say I am disappointed at the way my comments were portrayed and a part of me feels let down by the negativity these reports have caused,’ Horn concluded.
The two journalists who interviewed Horn said via Twitter that they are standing by their respective stories.
It seems the matter will now be investigated by CSA, although how independent that process will be remains to be seen.
‘The president of CSA has appointed members of the Board to conduct a review of the matter, concluded the statement issues by CSA.