• Boucher deal nearly done

    The appointment of Mark Boucher as the new Proteas team director and his management team is set to be finalised before the weekend.

    By mid-afternoon on Thursday Boucher still hadn’t travelled to Port Elizabeth with his Tshwane Spartans team for Friday’s Mzansi Super League playoff match against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at St Georges Park.

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    SA Cricket magazine understands that he stayed behind to conclude negotiations with Cricket South Africa’s new director of cricket, Graeme Smith, to take charge of the Proteas ahead of the Test series against England, which starts in two weeks’ time.

    Smith and Boucher played in the same Proteas side for more than a decade with great success and are also very good friends off the field. Another former teammate of Smith and Boucher, former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis, is also believed to play a role in the management team as a consultant.

    Enoch Nkwe, meanwhile, seems set to become Boucher’s assistant coach.

    Nkwe was in charge of the Proteas on their tour to India, where they shared the spoils in the T20 series 1-1, before losing the Test series 3-0.

    Former Proteas wicket-keeper Boucher finished his 15-year international career with 999 international dismissals, including a world-record 553 in 146 Tests for South Africa. He also scored 5,515 runs at an average at 30.30. The Titans appointed Boucher as their coach in August 2016, and the Centurion side have enjoyed good success over the past three seasons, winning two One Day Cups, two T20 Challenge titles and a four-day Sunfoil Series trophy.

    Smith apparently also approached former Proteas middle-order batsman Ashwell Prince to be on his management team, but according to sources the Cape Cobras coach declined the offer.

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    John Goliath