• Boucher might invite AB out of retirement

    New Proteas head coach Mark Boucher is open to inviting former captain AB de Villiers out of international retirement ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

    Boucher was formally appointed by acting director of cricket Graeme Smith earlier this week. He has succeeded former head coach Ottis Gibson, whose tenure ended after the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom.

    De Villiers retired from Test, ODI and T20I cricket in 2018. He continues to participate in domestic T20 leagues across the globe – and is currently working alongside Boucher with the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League.

    Also see: Five priorities for Boucher

    ‘When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you. If I feel he is one of your best players, why wouldn’t I want to have a conversation with him? I’ve only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are,’ said Boucher.

    ‘You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there’s a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with teammates, and if it’s for the good of South Africa, why not, let’s do it.’

    Boucher also suggested approaching some of South Africa’s Kolpak cricketers for a Proteas return. Seamers Kyle Abbott, Duanne Olivier, batsman Rilee Rossouw and spinner Simon Harmer are among several players who aborted burgeoning Proteas careers in favour of playing county cricket in the United Kingdom.

    ‘If I can answer from a coach’s perspective, absolutely. If you look at rugby, the way the Springboks won the World Cup, the experience they got from players playing overseas was invaluable. From a coach’s perspective, I’d love to have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen the squad. It will keep everyone on their toes and will bring more excellence into the game in this country,’ he added.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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