Former wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher has been named head coach ahead of the Proteas’ four-Test series against England. He will be lumped with several priorities, including these.
Rekindle and inspire yesteryear’s pride
Boucher and former captain and current acting director of cricket Graeme Smith were part of a Proteas Test XI that was truly great. They would have spent many hours in the field plotting the downfall of the opposition. Now, off the field, they can plan the promotion of the Proteas before their brief tenures end. These are exciting times for past players to return in other roles.
Relate with Enoch Nkwe on the right level
Boucher’s promotion comes as somewhat of a relegation for Nkwe, who held the team director post in an interim capacity for the tour of India – and could have retained it full-time. The two will will work closely together, so there can be no animosity. Goodness knows there has been enough of that between suspended chief executive officer Thabang Moroe and others.
Prioritise himself if others don’t
A lot of bad stuff has gone on prior to Boucher’s appointment. Nobody – including Faul – really seems to want any role permanently. There are a string of acting capacities floating around. Boucher might be torn between work with the Proteas and the Titans, who got him into coaching and are the country’s flagship franchise.
Promote top performers in domestic cricket
The elevation of Cape Cobras wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne and other franchise stars to the international ranks gets spoken about a lot, but hasn’t really had the chance to happen yet. Boucher’s appointment might be the catalyst for this to happen. If not Verreynne, then one or two others that deserve a go after sustained success at domestic level.
Toy with a return for AB de Villiers
There is a T20 World Cup next year. Boucher might not keep the job for long enough to go to Australia for the tournament, but perhaps he can convince De Villiers to come out of T20I retirement – like West Indian Dwayne Bravo has recently – for just this. Boucher and De Villiers are currently working together at the Tshwane Spartans, so the relationship is fresh and open to this sort of proposal.