Cape Town — Proteas Men’s coach Mark Boucher will step down after the T20 Cup next month in Australia, according to the Cricket SA statement released on Monday.
The announcement came shortly after the Proteas slumped to a nine-wicket defeat in the third and final against England at The Oval on Monday. England won the series 2-1 which saw the Proteas slip down to No 2 on the ICC Test Championship table and with an arduous task now of reaching the WTC final next year at Lord’s.
The Proteas still have five Tests in the WTC cycle remaining which includes three-match away series against Australia and a two-game home series against the West Indies next year.
The CSA statement said that Boucher “has decided to resign in order to pursue other opportunities in line with his future career and personal objectives”.
“We would like to thank Mark for the time and effort he has invested in South African cricket as the Head Coach over the past three years,” CSA Chief Executive Officer Pholetsi Moseki said.
“He has helped navigate us through some rough waters following the departures of so many senior players through retirement and has helped lay some strong foundations for the next generation of Proteas.”
Boucher, who was appointed on a four-year contract by former Cricket SA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith in December 2019, will not therefore see out his term that was meant to run until after next year’s 50-overs Cup in India.
The Proteas’ direct path to the longer format Cup may be in jeopardy though after Cricket SA opted to forfeited three ODI’s in Australia next year that may see Temba Bavuma’s team forced to navigate the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in order to progress.
Boucher’s reign at the helm of the Proteas has been also been a roller-coaster off the field with the former national wicket-keeper embroiled in an alleged racism case with his employers.
This was due to Boucher’s former Proteas teammate Paul Adams citing at Cricket SA’s Social Justice and Nation Building hearings that he was a victim of being called a “brown sh*t” in a celebratory team song during their playing days.
Boucher was named among the players that had used the term and was charged with “gross misconduct”.
He was also the centre of another storm when former Proteas assistant coach – Smith’s replacement as Director of Cricket – Enoch Nkwe quit his post due to a lack of role definition.
Boucher, who officially apologised to Adams for his part in the derogatory song, was due to appear before a CSA disciplinary hearing in May before all charges were dropped due to Adams and Nkwe refusing to testify on behalf of CSA.
Boucher’s final assignments as national men’s team coach will be the upcoming white-ball tour of India from September 28 to October 11 before heading to the T20 Cup in Australia.
Sport is understands that Boucher is on the radar of one of the franchises that is set to compete in the new SA20 League starting next January.