McKenzie overcame OCD to be major top-order driving force for ProteasDecember 9th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by ANI
Sydney, Dec 9 (ANI): Neil McKenzie, whose career was almost on the brink of ruin due to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, now stands as a major top-order driving force for South Africa in its Test series against Australia.
McKenzies international career seemed to have terminated in 2004 when, after 41 moderate Tests in the Proteas middle order, national selectors cut him adrift, The Age reported.
By then, the Johannesburg native was in the grips of what he believes was OCD, and enslaved to a series of bizarre superstitions including the taping of his bat to the ceiling before each innings and insisting every toilet seat in the dressing room was down when he went to bat.
McKenzie now concedes his complex set of rituals overwhelmed him, and might have cost him his career.
But after four years of toil and self-discovery in South Africas domestic cricket, he was handed a lifeline in January when called in to replace Herschelle Gibbs - now in the process of alcohol rehabilitation - in the unfamiliar role of opener.
The results have been startling. In 12 Tests this year, the 33-year-old McKenzie has scored 1002 runs and posted centuries in India, England and Bangladesh.
His stodgy approach to batting has complemented the more fluent style of his opening partner, South African captain Graeme Smith, and played a major role in the Proteas” success in 2008.
McKenzie credits his partner, South African model Kerry McGregor, with helping him to control his OCD symptoms and return to cricket with a clear mind.
The veteran batsman achieved his objective by shedding a superstition each season, most notably his bat-taping ritual. (ANI)
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Tags: african model, alcohol rehabilitation, domestic cricket, dressing room, fluent style, graeme smith, herschelle gibbs, international career, kerry mcgregor, mckenzies, national selectors, neil mckenzie, obsessive compulsive disorder, ocd symptoms, proteas, self discovery, south africas, test series, toilet seat, unfamiliar role