Mark Boucher, the former South African cricketer, has officially been named as the head coach of the Proteas. The veteran has been roped in on a four-year deal until 2023. Graeme Smith, the newly-appointed Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) acting director of cricket, made the announcement. The 43-year-old Boucher will be assisted by Enoch Nkwe, who was the interim team director.
Boucher is one of the greatest cricketers South Africa have ever produced. The Cape Province-born has an experience of 147 Tests, 295 ODIs and 25 T20Is where he amassed over 10,000 runs with six tons and 61 half-centuries. Smith, who was Boucher’s teammate, feels that the retired keeper has the potential to guide a relatively inexperienced Proteas squad.
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 in Cricbuzz.
“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.
On Monday, December 16, CSA are set to announce South Africa’s squad for the first two Tests of the four-match Test against England. The first match will be played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Linda Zondi has resumed as convener of the national selection panel and he is expected to name the squad.
Boucher’s career was an illustrious one, but the curtains came down in a rather unfortunate way. He was forced to announce his retirement after being hit in the eye by a bail in a warm-up game on the tour to England in 2012. He has 998 international dismissals as a keeper, including 555 in Tests.
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