South African players are infuriated at being branded losers and chokers by one of their staff in a book that could shake their Australian tour.
The Art Of Losing (Why the Proteas choke at cricket's World Cup) is the provocative title of a book set to hit the shelves in South Africa this weekend.
Written by Luke Alfred, a media consultant to Cricket South Africa, it tried to capture the inside story of South Africa's tortured history in ICC World Cups in the 50- and 20-over game.
Incensed South African officials are in the process of parting ways with Alfred but complex South African labor laws mean he is still under contract to them.
South Africa's leading players on tour are privately outraged that Alfred, a former sports editor of South Africa' Sunday Times newspaper, could write a book pinpointing their shortcomings while employed by Cricket South Africa.
"As far as the title is concerned it is unfortunate and misleading," News.com.au quoted Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee, as saying..
Moosajee admitted the choker' tag was an unfortunate and inescapable fact of life for the Proteas who are yet to see the contents of the book.
"You cannot get away from the fact that until you win a major ICC trophy it will be in the media. It is more an issue with the rest of the title of the book where you talk about the art of losing," Moosajee said.
South Africa's cursed run in ICC events includes having a 10-match winning streak broken by the West Indies in a quarter-final of the 1996 World Cup, a dramatic semi-final tie with Australia in the 1999 World Cup in England and their infamous exit from the 2003 World Cup in South Africa when they misread the Duckworth Lewis system and did not even make the play-offs.