Mark Boucher stone walls questions on CSA’s gross misconduct charges

Dead bats queries about the impact of his hearing on the team

24 January 2022 - 09:55
Mark Boucher was reluctant to talk about his upcoming hearing after the Proteas beat India at Newlands.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images Mark Boucher was reluctant to talk about his upcoming hearing after the Proteas beat India at Newlands.

Mark Boucher on Sunday doggedly dead batted questions relating to his defence against charges of gross misconduct brought by Cricket SA (CSA).

The Proteas coach, who is in the firing line as a result of testimony heard at CSA's Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings, faced the media following his team's 3-0 series whitewash of India at Newlands.

Boucher is set to appear before a yet to be determined hearing relating to alleged subliminal and overt racist behaviour during his days as a national player, as well as his time as head of the current set-up.

Asked how difficult it was to coach a team confronted by so much off the field drama, Boucher said “I think you'll appreciate I can't answer that.”

Boucher was asked if beating India in the Test and ODI series was a highlight of his coaching career and whether he could name any lowlights.

“I don't think I have to go into the second part of the question,” he said.

It's a process

Boucher was more forthcoming about matters that unfolded on the field. He explained the team was more driven by process and did not get seduced by the spoils of victory.

“We spoke about our journey and not worrying about the series,” said Boucher.

We wanted to win 3-0. We've been through the hard times and only once you've been through the hard times do you really appreciate the good ones.

“We appreciate this, but our feet are firmly planted on the ground. This a nice chapter in our continued journey. We have a captain in Tembs (Temba Bavuma) who really is demanding on results and that's good.”

For his part, Bavuma since he took over as captain has stepped up and tactfully filled the blanks where others have sought not to. He has been almost ambassadorial in that role.

Moreover, his contribution with the bat as well as his astute leadership have helped imbue growing belief in the squad.

Challenging period

“ I don't think it's easy to captain national teams,” reminded Bavuma.

“There are a lot of dynamics you need to manage. For me, it's always about keeping the cricket the main focus among the guys.

I hate to bring this up, but it's been a challenging period for the team, for the players, for particular members of team management. There's been a lot of scrutiny surrounding the team and the organisation.

“It's been about managing the conversations that happen in the change room to ensure our energy is 100% directed towards performing out on the field.

“For me, that's been the biggest challenge and it's a big responsibility, but it's also been a bit of a privilege,” said Bavuma.

A time frame for Boucher's hearing will be determined on Wednesday but it is unlikely to take place before the end of February when the team returns from their commitments in New Zealand.

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