Boucher’s exit after eventful tenure leaves big hole in coaching staff
It would always be a mess.
You could of course conclude that the nomination of two white men should be less relevant than the fact that they were two of the best names in South African cricket, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, Smith and Boucher were destined to be judged not only by their origins, but also by their whiteness.
And in Nkwe, Boucher replaced someone who was black and better qualified. Nkwe did not have Boucher’s international career, so he was retrained with a Level 4 certificate. Boucher decided not to go beyond a Level 2 (awarded to all former internationals), in part because CSA asked him to teach, without payment, the same Level 3 course he planned to do. As a foretaste of the clashes to come, that was a tough one.
Collectively, that expertise gave South Africa four Test series wins to eight, two ODI series wins to eight and five T20I series wins to 12. Overall, South Africa under Boucher won as many series in different sizes if lost – 11 – but his term will not be judged by numbers or race alone.
Does all this sound exhausting? It must have been.
The task for the new head coach is far from simple, as the need to revive a team in transition remains secondary to the need for transformation. The right candidate should not only be an excellent coach, but should understand that providing quality opportunities is not just about color by number. Foreign coaches, even those of color like Gibson, usually struggle with this.
Whoever enters cannot be after a lot of money. CSA doesn’t equate to cash and their head coach’s salary doesn’t match the amounts available in the IPL or county scene. Boucher himself will earn more from his SA20 stint of a few weeks than from an entire year as national coach.
One thing is certain: this time they will do everything in their power to get it right. The job will be advertised, candidates will be interviewed, t’s crossed and i’s dotted to avoid the chaos that clouded Boucher’s tenure. Because they can’t stand another mess like this.