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Mark Boucher: Cricket South Africa’s Racism allegations caused considerable hurt and anguish

Proteas coach Mark Boucher is a relieved man. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Proteas coach Mark Boucher is a relieved man. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published May 10, 2022

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Cape Town - Proteas Men’s coach Mark Boucher is relieved that all allegations of racism against him have been dropped by Cricket South Africa, stating that they “have caused me considerable hurt and anguish”.

CSA released a statement on Tuesday morning where they formally withdrew all of the disciplinary charges against Boucher. It includes the charges arising from the Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) report and the charges arising from the investigation following former Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe’s resignation.

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"The allegations of racism which were levelled against me were unjustified and have caused me considerable hurt and anguish," Boucher said in his statement.

"The last few months have been extremely difficult to endure for me and my family. I am glad that the process has finally come to an end and that CSA has accepted that the charges against me are unsustainable. I consider that the matter is now finalised and closed and I do not intend making further statements on this matter.”

Boucher’s four-year contract runs until the conclusion of the 2023 ICC World Cup and he maintained that he is happy to lead a Proteas that are working together as a unit.

“I look forward to continuing to focus on my job and to taking the Proteas men's team to even greater heights," he said. "I am proud to now be part of a team culture that is inclusive and whose objective is to be respectful to every person."

Cricket SA’s Chair of the Board, Lawson Naidoo was also confident that the Proteas’ Men’s team “enjoys a culture of mutual respect and inclusivity” and that Boucher could now begin to focus solely on his job going forward.

“CSA has at all times been committed to dealing with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality. The decision to withdraw the charges brings about finality on these issues for CSA and Mark and allows the focus to return to the cricket field – where we trust that Mark and the Proteas will go from strength to strength,” Naidoo said.

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“The SJN process was never only or even mainly about the conduct of individuals. More fundamentally, it was about providing a platform for persons involved in cricket to share their personal experiences of racial and gender discrimination and to allow for a careful consideration of the systemic measures necessary to redress these issues going forward for the future.

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“The SJN process has certainly achieved that and the Board is confident that the current team enjoys a culture of mutual respect and inclusivity. The Board will in the near future announce further systemic initiatives in this regard. The systemic learnings from the SJN process will provide valuable input into the values, behaviours, culture and strategy of Cricket in SA going forward and we thank all participants for their contributions in this regard.”

Chief executive Pholetsi Moseki stated that CSA “regrets” the situation Boucher had to endure over the past year.

“CSA appreciates that it has been very difficult for Mark to deal with these charges hanging over his head over the last few months. CSA regrets this. CSA is also appreciative of the fact that Mark has at all times conducted himself properly and professionally – refusing to be drawn into public debates about the charges and carrying out his duties with commitment and dedication,” Moseki said.

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“The performance of the Proteas Men’s team over this period has been extremely impressive, particularly in the Test arena, and this speaks to the efforts of Mark, his support staff and the players.”

@ZaahierAdams

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