Former SA wicket-keeper Mark Boucher fires salvo at critics

Mark Boucher during the Tshwane Spartans Media Launch at SuperSport Park on October 25, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Mark Boucher during the Tshwane Spartans Media Launch at SuperSport Park on October 25, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Titans coach and former SA wicket-keeper Mark Boucher fired a terse salvo at critics who questioned his coaching certification and his suitability for the vacant Proteas team director position.

Boucher‚ who is in his fourth year of a fruitful head coaching stint with the Titans‚ said he never turned his back on upgrading his coaching certification‚ adding he had other pressing matters that got in the way of the coaching conferences he was supposed to attend.

A column posted on a cricket website zeroed in on Boucher's unsuitability and illegibility in regards with the Proteas team director position because of not having a Level Three coaching certificate. The piece said Boucher has a Level Two coaching certificate.

“Judging what's gone on in the media and all that type of stuff‚ probably not‚" Boucher said.

"I've always said I want to finish my stint here at the Titans and that's where my focus is right now.

"There are a lot of people who have said things about me in the media which I didn't say and there's a been a lot of abuse from certain media that's come my way about me just trying to carry on and do my job over here.

"I think it's unfair and it's been a demotivating week for me.

"I've had a lot of people phoning me saying this and that‚ making accusations that I don't want to grow in my coaching and all that type of stuff. It's very unfair.

“The whole thing was about coaching conferences that came up and the two conferences that I missed‚ I had valid reasons for them.

"The first one‚ I was sorting out stuff for my marriage and the second one‚ we were informed quite late and I'd already got my stuff sorted for my conservation organisation.

"We had invited a whole lot of wealthy men into the bush to try and get funds for conservation. I couldn't miss that.”

Boucher said he wasn't approached for the Team Director job that's currently occupied by Highveld Lions counterpart Enoch Nkwe on an interim basis for the upcoming Test and T20 tour of India.

Boucher‚ who's international career started in 1998 and ended in 2012 because of a freakish eye injury‚ also said there isn't a set rule that high performance coaches have to have a Level Three in order to be employed in international cricket.

“With the Level Three Coaching‚ people need to get their facts straight‚" he said.

"You don't have to have a Level Three in order to be a coach and that hasn't been made a rule by Cricket South Africa. When I was asked to do a Level Three‚ they also asked me to lecture the coaches who were doing the Level Three.

“I said to them: 'If that's the case‚ I don't mind doing a Level Three but if you want me to lecture‚ then that's in my personal capacity‚ I'm giving off information that I've acquired over the years and I feel there's a fee attached to that. They said there's no fee and when I went to my employers‚ they said I don't have to.'

"There are a lot of coaches around the world who don't have a Level Three‚ New Zealander Stephen Fleming is an example and he's very successful.”

Boucher said he was more than ready to improve his coaching qualifications‚ adding that he'd be more than keen to take up the Team Director position in the future‚ so long as he was able to pick his own management team.

“If there was a requirement that for me to be available for the Proteas‚ I needed to get a Level Three or a Level Four certificate‚ then I'd go do that‚" he said.

"I'm performing this role here and there's no requirement. I got a few phone calls a couple of years ago where I was asked if I could apply for the job and I said no because I didn't think I was ready.

“I'm honest in that way‚ but like any coach‚ I'd like to have the opportunity‚ if they do offer the job‚ I'd like to be able to bring my own team on board.

"Whether that's going to happen‚ I don't know. I don't need to answer the question because no one's asked me.

"Everything has been speculation in the media and people making suggestions on whether they should look at me.

"I've never made any statements saying I want to coach the Proteas. It's been other people who are saying it.”

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