Desperate Kiwis seek psychologist's help

Published: Monday, November 10, 2003, 22:09 [IST]
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New Delhi: A desperate New Zealand is now seeking help from a psychologist in its efforts to win the cricket tri-series and prepare itself mentally for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) sports psychologist Gilbert Enoka is set to join the Kiwis in Hyderabad on Tuesday, in time for the team's do-or-die match against India on Saturday. The Kiwis succumbed to their sixth consecutive loss to Australia on Sunday in Guwahati and now need to beat India for a place in the final against the world champions. Besides addressing to the tri-series woes of the Kiwis, the psychologist is also expected to talk to the players about their upcoming tour of Pakistan.

"It's a key time for him (Enoka) to come over," Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming was quoted as saying by the 'New Zealand Herald' website. "Different players will approach it in different ways, but certainly if you're struggling mentally he's the one to talk to," he said. Enoka will talk to the players about the tour of Pakistan in the wake of NZC's option to the cricketers to opt out of the tour if they felt uncomfortable due to any reason.

New Zealand is slated to play five One-day matches to make up for the unfinished Test in Karachi last year. A bomb blast outside the team hotel in Karachi led to the abandonment of the match Memories of that bomb blast in May last year are still fresh among the players, although Fleming confirmed he was available for the tour. "We're trying to keep it pretty low key because we want to win this tournament (tri-series)." On the team's fortunes in the tri-series, Fleming said it was not crisis point yet but conceded there were some problems that needed to be addressed. "We're not far away, but far enough to be frustrated.

You can talk about it and identify it, but it's all about the pressure." On his own poor form on the tour, Fleming said, "I don't know. I can't explain it. I'm pretty close but I'm letting the team down. It's very frustrating and it has nagged me for the whole tour," said the skipper.

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