Relax, just do it, former SA coach Woolmer to players

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer advised his former charges on Tuesday not to try so hard if they want to stay alive at the World Cup. The host, regarded as co-favourite with defending champion Australia for the title, has endured a roller-coaster ride at the tournament with two wins and one defeat sending it dangerously close to elimination at the first round stage. "The team is trying so hard that its cricket is suffering. It needs to refocus and relax," Woolmer, South African coach at the 1999 World Cup, told a newspaper. "Confidence is low at present and the tension is palpably visible in the faces of the side - even Mark Boucher, normally the most confident individual, has become tense." Wicket-keeper Boucher dropped New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming on Sunday when the Kiwi had made 53 - he went on to score an unbeaten 134, which guided his team to a nine-wicket win at the Wanderers. "Boucher has dropped two relatively straightforward catches during this event and when he did catch Craig McMillan off Allan Donald on Sunday his body language was one of intense relief."

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