'We are trying and we want to win': Boucher after the Proteas suffered a series whitewash to England

02 December 2020 - 15:04 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
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South Africa coach Mark Boucher.
South Africa coach Mark Boucher.
Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images

When Proteas coach Mark Boucher started his international career in 1997‚ England was neither here nor there as a cricketing nation.

But 23 years later‚ along with the transition to international coaching‚ SA are in England’s 1997 position‚ but with the English being the pre-eminent limited overs team in world cricket.

After winning Tuesday’s third T20 by the wide margin of nine wickets with 14 balls to spare‚ the gap between the teams couldn’t be starker.

Boucher admitted as much‚ but said they’re trying hard to get their cricketing act together.

“I do think that England are a step ahead, and not only [of] us but the other teams in world cricket at the moment. We are trying and we want to win. We are doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes to be a good force in world cricket‚” Boucher said.

Boucher has never been the man for excuses but he pointed out that it will be difficult to accurately gauge where his charges are because they’ve only played England and Australia. That said‚ those teams are the best in the world‚ with Boucher saying SA's preparation wasn’t the best because of factors outside their control.

“We’ve lost to England. We beat Australia in the ODIs and we’ve played against England again‚ so it’s two very good teams and it’s difficult to determine where we are at the moment. It’s shown that we’ve got a lot of work to do with regards to catching them as they’re the best teams in the world‚” Boucher said.

“There’s a bit of rustiness and we didn’t have the most ideal preparation. We did as well as we could with regards to our training. I’m not looking for excuses though. We have to man up and face the fact that we lost 3-0. We’ve got a determined group of guys who want to learn quickly and compete with the world’s best.”

ESPNcricinfo reported on Tuesday that SA may face tougher transformation targets with regards to picking more black players. Boucher’s team featured three black Africans in the series but he was non-committal with the details of the transformation meeting he recently attended.

“The only thing I can say was that I was in a transformation meeting and we were given an outline of what the rules and regulations were. That’s what we have to abide by. I don’t know if it’s been taken to the minister. I think someone who is above me needs to answer that question. If you look at the three black Africans‚ they’re very good players‚” Boucher said.

“I don’t know where people are going with this‚ but it’s not up to me to answer these things. I have to select a team that I believe can do a job on the day and I do select that team along with Victor Mpitsang and Enoch Nkwe.”

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