South African cricket July 13, 2012

Boucher shock: South Africa's testing mental battle

Neil Manthorp, writing in Mail & Guardian , reasons that South Africa's recent arduous physical campaign of Switzerland may not have been adequate to mentally prepare them for shocks such as Mark Boucher's injury and retirement.

Neil Manthorp, writing in Mail & Guardian, reasons that South Africa's recent arduous physical campaign of Switzerland may not have been adequate to mentally prepare them for shocks such as Mark Boucher's injury and retirement.

Boucher's fate has affected the squad in England more than anyone could possibly have imagined. Yes, sure, it is not a matter of life and death but the potential – perhaps even likely – loss of sight in his left eye has stunned everyone and left a profound feeling of shock. Not even the great wicketkeeper's messages of encouragement on Twitter have lifted the pall of gloom which settled over his teammates.

When Horn (South Africa guide for the Switzerland trip) spoke about "overcoming adversity" and "confronting your fears" his audience assumed that he was referring to physical challenges. As with the vast majority of males, particularly of this age, they are finding it considerably harder to cope with emotional ones.

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