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December 15, 2019

Mark Boucher named SA head coach


December 15, 2019

CAPE TOWN: Former Test wicketkeeper Mark Boucher was on Saturday named as South African team head coach until 2023.

An upbeat Boucher said South African cricket had been through “trying times” but added that he was confident that the national team could be successful against England.

“Beware of a wounded buffalo, especially in Africa,” he said.

The announcement was made by Cricket South Africa interim director of cricket, former Test captain Graeme Smith, who only took up his post on Wednesday.

Boucher, 43, played in 147 Tests, 290 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals for South Africa before a serious eye injury ended his career in 2012.

He has coached the Titans franchise for the past three seasons, winning five of a possible nine trophies.

“I felt that at this stage the Proteas (national team) needed a really hardened, internationally experienced guy,” said Smith.

Enoch Nkwe, who was previously interim team director and in charge of the team on a recent tour of India, was named assistant coach, also with a contract until the end of the next Cricket World Cup in 2023.

Faf du Plessis was confirmed as captain for the Test series against England which starts at Centurion on December 26, while former Test batsman Ashwell Prince was named coach of South Africa A.

Smith said he expected to appoint batting and bowling consultants within the next week.

Boucher said South Africa had rebounded in the past.

“I have been involved in sides where we’ve had some very tough times,” said Boucher.

“One of the toughest was the Hansie Cronje (corruption) saga but straight away after that we beat Australia.

“I think we’ve got a very good chance of turning it around. I’ve been in set-ups where we have turned around in a couple of days.”

Smith said an emergency selection committee consisting of Boucher, Nkwe, Du Plessis and Linda Zondi, who was sacked as convener after South Africa’s poor World Cup campaign, would announce a squad on Monday for the first Test as well as a South Africa A team to play against England.

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