JOHANNESBURG – In case anyone thinks all the Proteas’ problems have suddenly been solved by victory in the opening Test against England, Mark Boucher provided a stern reminder to both viewers and his players that it most definitely wasn’t the case.
The South African team certainly celebrated the 107-run triumph at SuperSport Park in the manner of a team that hadn’t won since January and had lost its previous five Tests. And rightly so. As Boucher pointed out, no Test win should ever be taken for granted but it is also only a start. For one there is a series still at stake and England will comeback hard, and for another, this is a Proteas team that is still in the very early stages of its development, amidst a climate in South African cricket that remains thick with suspicion and paranoia.
“We will get back on the horse. We realise there is still a lot of hard work to be done for the rest of the series,” Boucher remarked.
His own work in his new position is only just beginning. Boucher was called up by Cricket SA’s interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith just two weeks ago, and put together his coaching staff - that now includes Jacques Kallis and temporary batting consultant and Charl Langeveldt as bowling coach - hastily. “It’s been a hectic two weeks, we put in a lot of hard work as a coaching staff and our management as well. This (win) is the reward for that hard work.”
For the players it was also a significant confidence boost, a reminder that they are good players capable of beating good sides. “Just watching the guys walk in, a couple of guys had lumps in their throats, which means it means a lot to them, to win a Test match. It’s great to be back, I’ve been out of Proteas cricket for a period of time now, it’s an honour for me to be in that change-room and hopefully be a part of a change in South African cricket,” Boucher added.