South Africa won as many series as they lost, but his tenure won’t be judged on stats alone. Always dirty. Mark Boucher’s time as national men’s coach was marred by charges of favoritism from the start.
Despite being a great cricketer and excellent coach. Now that Boucher is coaching an IPL team, he remains a key presence in South African cricket. South Africa and its institutions aren’t simple, thus this isn’t a simple narrative.
Boucher’s Departure Creates A Coaching Void
You’ve heard this before (sorry), but South African society is racialized. In analyzing Boucher the coach, we must understand that he is white and male and was born in 1976 when those were the most essential things to be.
His premium school emphasized sports, which he was strong at. From age-group teams, he rose to become South Africa’s top wicketkeeper in Smith’s greatest Test squad.
Boucher Was Forceful, Sharp, Resilient, And Loyal
Boucher was forceful, sharp, resilient, and passionately loyal. He was his team’s glue. Fans admired him but didn’t adore him like AB de Villiers. When he was injured at Taunton, there was compassion but no public mourning.
As a coach, he fit right in. Boucher won five titles in three seasons with the Titans and might lead the national team. Boucher wasn’t a possibility to succeed Ottis Gibson after the 2019 World Cup because no one, not even CSA, understood what to do.
Then, Thabang Moroe ran CSA poorly. Enoch Nkwe had recently won two of three tournaments and the first Mzansi Super League in his debut season with the Lions. He was South Africa’s first Black coach.
South Africa fell 3-0 in India under Nkwe. By the time Boucher took over, Smith (white and male) was director of cricket, and Jacques Faul (white and male) was temporary CEO (Moroe was removed for misbehavior).
Two White Men Should Be Less Significant Than Two South African Cricketers
You may argue that the nomination of two white guys is less important than the fact that they are two of South Africa’s top cricketers. Smith and Boucher were assessed not just by their pedigree but also by their whiteness once the BLM movement resurged.
Boucher replaced a black, more competent person in Nkwe. Boucher’s worldwide career inspired Nkwe to get a Level 4 qualification. Boucher didn’t continue beyond Level 2 (given to all former internationals).
Because CSA requested him to teach for free on the Level 3 course he was planning to take. That was a hot preview of future confrontations. Boucher was outraged and relieved to become head coach in December 2019. He saw South Africa’s players underperforming technically.
Charl Langeveldt, Justin Ontong, and Justin Sammons coached him. Jacques Kallis, Paul Harris, Neil McKenzie, and Vincent Barnes were all advisors he hired. South Africa won four Test, two ODI, and five T20I series out of eight.
South Africa won 11 series under Boucher, but his tenure won’t be judged on statistics or race alone. Boucher had more off-field difficulties than other coaches, including BLM and Covid-19. The former caused CSA to establish the Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings, where Boucher fared poorly.
Especially when he was named in Paul Adams’ damaging evidence. CSA sought Boucher’s resignation as coach, paving the door for others displeased with his appointment.
The Dropped Accusations Hurt Boucher’s Relationship With The Board
The dropped accusations hurt Boucher’s relationship with the board. The team backed him and seemed to be flourishing under him, but others couldn’t see a future for someone who admitted to racial discrimination. Nonexistent. Tiresome? Surely.
Boucher fought. Boucher apologized in writing for his behavior, but he never appeared at the SJN. Without hearings, we’ll never know whether he would have apologized. The team’s welcoming culture will show whether he’s changed.
South Africa is tackling racial issues openly. Then crickets. Boucher’s team experienced the same hitting problems when he joined. The SA20 will significantly limit South Africa’s local first-class games. South Africa’s FTP has fewer Tests.
South Africa may not qualify for the 2023 World Cup, therefore their board removed them from qualifying matches to concentrate on the SA20. Boucher’s organization traded international soccer for a rich league.
Why did he quit? Reviving a transitional club is secondary to the new head coach’s role. The ideal candidate is a competent coach who understands that providing outstanding chances isn’t a numbers game. Gibson and other black coaches face this.
Rich people can’t come. CSA isn’t affluent, and its head coach won’t make IPL or county amounts. Boucher will make more coaching SA20 than the national team. Anyone? SA’s Robin Peterson Favorite: Malibongwe Maketa. Lance Klusener, Ashwell Prince, and Vernon Philander are possibilities.
CSA might approach previous incumbents. Gary Kirsten, Russell Domingo, Graham Ford, or Adi Birrell (Domingo’s assistant) may fill an interim role while CSA finds a permanent replacement.
They’ll try harder this time. The post will be advertised and applicants will be interviewed to prevent the turmoil of Boucher’s term. Because they can’t handle another mess.