Proteas coach Mark Boucher's regime to come under more scrutiny in the coming months

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has struggled to deliver positive results consistently for the team.
LOOKING AHEAD Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has struggled to deliver positive results consistently for the team.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Under-fire Proteas coach Mark Boucher's regime is expected to come under closer scrutiny as Cricket South Africa (CSA) focuses more on success on the pitch in the coming months.

The Proteas have an incredibly busy programme in the coming months and Graeme Smith‚ CSA's director of cricket‚ said on Thursday the period will be about results for the Proteas and Boucher.

“This is a crucial period for the men’s squad‚ both players and management‚” said Smith.

“When we started this season in November‚ I think one of our main goals as the cricket department was to try and get as much cricket played as possible.

"I think we have tapped into about 32 players who have played for South Africa in the season and 45 have been kitted out.

“We have really spread far and wide for various reasons‚ which includes losing a number of players.

"The cancellation of four-day cricket in December meant that loads of players were an issue.

"We have travelled with different squads because of the scheduling with Indian Premier League (IPL) and the cancelled Australia tour."

The Proteas have lost eight out of eleven series since Boucher took over in 2019 where they largely experimented because of the unavailability of players‚ the cancelation of the domestic season and the series against Australia due to Covid-19.

On the back of a poor record where they have lost five out of eight Tests and won only four of the 16 T20s since December 2019‚ pressure is piling up for Boucher.

But the coach has the coming season to try and improve the team’s fortunes.

The Proteas are scheduled to play against the West Indies‚ Ireland‚ Sri Lanka and in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup which will be played in India in October and November.

There is also the possibility of a visit by Australia before India's end-of-the year tour.

“I guess it was bit of an exploration period team in terms of trying to identify players to take forward‚ but I do see this next period from a result perspective as crucial in the build up to the World Cup‚" Smith continued.

“We need to get our best team playing together as often as we can and really pushing hard because it is a big six months for the men in South African cricket.

"We have the end-of-year Indian tour as well‚ which is a marquee tour for us‚ and before that we have tours against the West Indies‚ Ireland‚ Sri Lanka and the World Cup.”