Mark Boucher, the former South African cricketer, has been officially named the Proteas’ head coach.
The veteran was roped in on a four-year deal until 2023. The announcement was made by Graeme Smith, the newly appointed Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) acting cricket boss. Enoch Nkwe, who was the temporary team manager, would support the 43-year-old Boucher.
Boucher is one of South Africa’s greatest cricketers ever produced. The Cape province-born has an experience of 147 Tests, 295 ODIs and 25 T20Is where he accumulated more than 10,000 runs with six tons and sixty-one half-centuries.
Smith, who was a teammate of Boucher, feels the retired keeper has the potential to lead a relatively inexperienced squad of proteas.
I have the highest regard for Enoch as well: Graeme Smith
“I have brought Boucher on board because I feel he will bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit. With his experience of a long career as an international cricketer he has first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed in the Test arena,” Smith was quoted as saying.
“I have the highest regard for Enoch as well and I want to create a clear path for him to grow into a top international coach. At the same time, there is a clear need to maintain continuity and stability in the Proteas management team, and we will be retaining the technical support staff along with Volvo Masubelele continuing as team manager and Justin Ontong as fielding coach,” Smith added.
CSA is scheduled to announce South Africa’s squad for the first two of the four-Test matches against England on Monday, December 16. The first match will be played at Centurion’s Supersport Park.
As convener of the national selection panel, Linda Zondi has resumed and is expected to name the squad.
The career of Boucher was an impressive one, but in a very unfortunate way the curtains came down. He was forced to announce his retirement after a ball in a warm-up game on England’s tour in 2012 struck his eye. As a keeper, he has 998 international dismissals, including 555 in Tests.