The Art of Losing. Why the Proteas Choke at the Cricket World Cup

The Art of Losing explains why the Proteas have never won a single knockout match at a Cricket World Cup.
Alfred, Luke
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17,80 € *

Title: The Art of Losing
Subtitle: Why the Proteas Choke at the Cricket World Cup
Author: Luke Alfred
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Imprint: Zebra Press
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781770223844 / ISBN 978-1-77022-384-4
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 296 pages, several colour photographs


Since South Africa's readmission to world cricket in 1991, the Proteas have played in six World Cups (and four World T20 tournaments) and have been knocked out in all of them. The reasons range from the weather and misreading the Duckworth-Lewis table to being outwitted on the field itself. In the most recent tournaments, though, they have shown a scandalous lack of nerve in the pressure-cooker of international knockout cricket. Drawing from interviews with the major protagonists and behind-the-scenes officials, The Art of Losing recreates the drama of these matches. With fresh anecdotes, stories and insights, it also attempts to explain why World Cup failure has become a habit. Does the problem lie with coaching, with communication issues, or with a lack of independent thinking among the players? Is it the product of a pampered professional environment, or of the South African schooling system? The Art of Losing will ruffle feathers but will also attempt to explain the 'choker' tag that has become so widespread. Is it fair? The Proteas, after all, win a high proportion of their one-day matches and have some of the best cricketers in the world. Why, then, do they invariably fail to clear that final hurdle?


The slow dance back into the fold (1991-1992)
Saving South Africa (1992)
The Hansie and Bob Show (1996)
Staying on your lily the Lance Klusener way (1996-1999)
The best side never to win a World Cup (1999)
The story of just one run (1999)
Fear - what no one talks about (2003)
A World Cup that didn't run to form (2007)
The cost of 'calculated planning' (2007)
A happy but unsuccessful tour (2011)
A dark mist descends (2012)
Conclusion (or how Chinese takeaways contributed to making the West Indies the best cricket side in the world)
Acronyms and abbreviations