JOHANNESBURG – Mark Boucher lashed out at claims that he did not want to grow as a coach, saying the criticism of him in the last week has been demotivating.
Boucher has been at the centre of a storm since his name was mentioned as a candidate for the Proteas’ newly formed Team Director’s position.
The former Proteas wicketkeeper, who’s heading into his fourth season as the Titans coach, said abuse from sections of the media has been unfair.
Questions have been asked over Boucher’s coaching credentials, but he said yesterday that his employers were happy he had the tools for the job.
“Accusations that I don’t want to grow in my coaching...it’s very unfair,” Boucher, who played 147 Tests and 295 ODIs, said.
“I do a lot of things away from the game to help myself regarding speaking to other coaches, golf coaches for instance, to see how the two sports can maybe learn from one another.”
Boucher outlined close relationships with businessmen as having been influential in his growth as a coach.
While many coaches acquired Cricket SA Level 3 and Level 4 coaching certificates, those are not requirements for a coaching position in South Africa.
“A lot of coaches around the world don’t have Level 3s - Stephen Fleming is one of the most successful coaches, my mate Jacques (Kallis) has been very successful at the IPL. If there was a requirement that in order for me to coach the Proteas I needed to get a Level 3 or Level 4 coaching certificate, then I would go and do that.
“I’m performing this role here (at the Titans) and there is no requirement. Who is someone to tell me how I should grow in my way going forward as a coach?
Is there one set way? I speak to a lot of big businessmen around the country, I’ve been fortunate to have built relationships with many and I learn a hell of a lot speaking to them about works in the changeroom. I’ve got different ways of growing myself as a coach.”
Boucher, who said he had not been approached to fill the interim Team Director role with the Proteas for the side’s tour to India, explained that the new structure around the national team could work, if the positions were filled by the right people.
“I think having a Cricket Director is a good thing. You look at what Andrew Strauss did in England, it’s a big role, someone who’s been involved in cricket, who has a lot of integrity. It’s a big role; it should be very good for the game in our country, but it’s also about what happens from that position down, that is quite important.”
Despite the retirements of Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla last week, Boucher feels optimistic about the Proteas future.
“Even when you’re at your best, going to India is tough. They’ve had guys who’ve retired but that offers opportunities for guys to step into their places; somehow we’ve always had guys who’ve stepped up.”