There is finally some good news for cricket fans to cheer about after a tumultuous few weeks for the game in South Africa.
Boardroom ‘shenanigans’ and that’s putting it mildly have dominated headlines for too long. There’s much very, very little positive news to write about and one could be forgiven for going with the ‘heads in the sand’ approach as England and their Barmy Army descend on Mzansi.
At last, though, there is a silver lining of hope to cling to.
The news of Titans leader Jacques Faul taking over from Thabang Moroe and former test captain Smith assuming the position, albeit on a short-term deal, as director of cricket has been boosted by the all but likely deal that Mark Boucher will be given the team director post.
He is the right man for the job – I wrote as much previously – and while SA Cricket Magazine understands that he still has some finer contractual points to be addressed, it is likely that he will be announced as the permanent team director. No doubt the new employee is looking for assurances over job security as the waves of change still wash through his prospective employer’s hallways.
Smith is currently putting together Boucher’s backroom team and there’s a sense of ‘putting the band back together’ with Jacques Kallis tipped to be added to the mix.
In the wake of the failed Ottis Gibson era, allowing Smith, Boucher and Kallis the chance to restore some pride in the Proteas must be seen as a godsend.
Boucher will come into bat for the team much like he did during his stellar playing career. Expect much of that rugged determination he showed on the field to be replicated by his team. He has also big plans [read about his Kolpak views here] …
With time running out before the first Test at Centurion on Boxing Day, the new coach – or team director as the CSA press releases will have us say – will hit the ground running with plenty of hard work needed to get his side into competitive shake.
That will leave very little time for media work. But unlike the controversial attempts by Moroe to muzzle journalists, this time it’s completely acceptable as he attempts to do his talking with his team’s performances.
Boucher has built up a steady track record – his appointment delayed as he attempts to see his MSL side the Tshwane Spartans. into Monday’s finale – and owns a playing career that most of the team that will take to the field against England would kill for.
Now 43, the former wicketkeeper-batsman knows that only the best will be tolerated and that results must be immediate. From the public eye’s, the expectations have not changed from when he was donning the whites of the national team. It’s just this time, he’ll be watching on from the dressing room.
While the sponsors continue talk with their money in a bid to clean up the boardroom, it’s actually a refreshing change to consider that the focus of the Proteas is shifting back to the cricket field. It’s been a while.