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CSA could have waited until after India series before Mark Boucher announcement

Proteas coach Mark Boucher. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Proteas coach Mark Boucher. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jan 22, 2022


Johannesburg - Mark Boucher needs to face the music concerning allegations levelled against him which say he called his former teammate Paul Adams a ‘brown sh*t’ as part of a team song, but Cricket South Africa (CSA) could have waited until the end of the current series against India until they made an announcement on the matter.

Boucher was informed of the charges on Monday, about the allegations against him after he was found in the final Social Justice and Nation (SJN) building report - to have attempted to excuse his actions against Adams. However, CSA could have easily waited until the current series was over before announcing the impending hearings against Boucher.

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In fact, CSA sent out a release on Thursday at 3.04pm which was entitled “CSA suspends Boucher and Smith”. It was deleted a minute later, and the correct press release was sent with the title “CSA appoints highly respected advocate Terry Motau (SC) chairperson of disciplinary hearing into allegations against Mark Boucher.”

No mention in the release was made of current CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith, after the first erroneous statement headline said he was suspended.

This all came the day before South Africa played India in the second One-Day International (ODI) in Paarl on Friday. For the first time in what seems like ages, South Africa have been producing results - after they won the three-match Test series against India 2-1 a week ago. India were ranked first in the Test team rankings ahead of the series.

On Wednesday, South Africa beat India in the first ODI in Paarl. The final match of the the tour - the third ODI - takes place in Cape Town on Sunday. The Proteas then wrapped up the ODI series with another win on Thursday despite the off-field distractions.

Former SA cricketer Paul Harris was among those that questioned the timing of the CSA announcement.

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Craig Ray for the Daily Maverick wrote: “India leave the country on Monday. Waiting until then to make a public announcement about charges against Boucher would have made no material difference to the situation. But that sensible course of action seemed beyond CSA.”

Meanwhile, twitter user @DeanOelsch said:

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Of course, CSA did not question the timing of their announcement and not for the first time either.

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During the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October, CSA announced the day before their second match of the competition against the West Indies that their players would all be required to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM). Previously, it had been up to the players whether they would knee or not in support of BLM.

All the players absolutely should kneel for the cause - but forcing the players to kneel in the middle of the competition laid the stage for controversy. SA wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock then refused to kneel and made himself unavailable for the match against the West Indies as a result. De Kock quickly changed his tune, issuing an apology and saying he would kneel in future as his prior actions had left his future with the team uncertain.

De Kock also announced he would only play the first Test of the three-match series against India, as his wife was due to give birth to their first child. South Africa lost the first Test to India in Centurion on December 30, and later that evening De Kock made a shock announcement that he was retiring from the longest format of the game at the age of 29.

Though in his statement De Kock said his priorities as a new father would change, he still had many more years left in the game. Whether his previous run-in with CSA over the BLM issue played a part is debatable, but also can’t be ignored. If CSA had not instituted the BLM mandate the day before a match, it would have allowed its players who were uncertain on how to handle the situation more time to consider their actions.

It seems CSA is consistently creating problems for its players off the field, while they are still expected to deliver with leather and willow. And the only constant in SA cricket, is the conveyor belt of controversy being constantly delivered for its players and staff.