We choked, admits SA coach Kirsten

We choked, admits SA coach Kirsten

Choke is a word which has haunted South African cricket for three decades but rather than shy away from it, departing coach Gary Kirsten has embraced the term in a bid to end their jinx.

The heavy defeat to England in the Champions Trophy semifinal at The Oval on Wednesday was their eighth last-four loss out of nine played in major tournaments. "We need to be honest with ourselves. I think we did choke the game. We have to accept what it is," Kirsten told a news conference.

He said the "horrible word" had been used in team meetings in an effort to conquer the issue but it remained a "mist". “If we had a secret recipe to turn it around we would certainly have packaged it and be selling it," added Kirsten.

"It's going to require some really tough individuals to overcome it. I don't know if I've left the team in a better state. Certainly we haven't improved. Maybe it's a good decision I'm leaving," he said.

Kirsten also hinted that Jacques Kallis's one-day future was limited. "In high-pressure games you want your more experienced players...but at the same time they are scarred by past experiences. South African cricket needs to move beyond Jacques Kallis," he said.

England captain Alastair Cook disagreed with Kirsten on the choke part. "I don't think they choked, I think we played really well," he said.

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