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Ken Borland

‘The officials make the decisions and we have to live with them’ – Boucher 0

Posted on January 13, 2023 by Ken

Proteas coach Mark Boucher said it is the officials who make the decisions and the teams have to live with them after their opening T20 World Cup match against Zimbabwe was called off with South Africa on the brink of victory at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Monday.

South Africa, inspired by an extraordinary Quinton de Kock innings, were 51/0 after just three overs, needing only 13 more runs in four overs to win the match. Rain after the toss had seen the match reduced to nine overs a side, Zimbabwe electing to bat first and scoring 79/5, with the game being reduced by two more overs in the second over of the Proteas chase after the rain returned.

Much of the match was played in a steady drizzle, but the umpires eventually ended the contest when the rain became harder and Zimbabwe were starting to voice their displeasure about slipping around on the field. Bowler Richard Ngarava had already left the field with what looked like a twisted ankle, and Zimbabwe coach David Houghton said he didn’t believe a ball should have been bowled.

“They were tough conditions, but we are here to play in the World Cup, we wanted to play and it seemed both captains did,” Boucher said after the No Result.

“The officials are there though to make those decisions and we have to live with it. We bowled with a ball that was quite wet as well.

“We were in a very good position, so we can walk away thinking we were hard done by. If Zimbabwe had been in our position, they would have wanted to play on.

“The positive is that it wasn’t a do-or-die game, we are still in control of our destiny. We’re in a tough group, but it is still very early in the competition. We’ve possibly got to win every game now,” Boucher said.

While the Proteas will mourn the loss of a point, Boucher was delighted by the positive, energetic start his team made to the tournament. None more so than De Kock, who blazed 47 not out off just 18 balls, with eight fours and a six.

“It’s disappointing to get four-fifths of the way through the game and then have to go off,” Boucher said. “To get so close and have it taken away from you, that’s the most frustrating part.

“But rather now than later and I’m just happy with the intensity they showed in the field and Quinny played some special shots, which I think sends a message as well.

“He showed that he is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world and to see him play with that freedom was really good. Sometimes guys tense up at a World Cup, but he seized the moment.

“There’s not much more we could have done, we maximised what we could. So we have no regrets over what we did, we just needed ten more balls to finish it off,” Boucher said.

Boucher has no sorrow over difficult selection decisions ahead 0

Posted on September 19, 2022 by Ken

Despite now being faced with the toughest of selection conundrums, coach Mark Boucher feels no sorrow at all for the difficult decisions he will have to make ahead of the T20 World Cup following the Proteas adding a series win over Ireland to their heady triumph over England.

With Reeza Hendricks in rampant form at the top of the order, Aiden Markram continuing to be an explosive presence in the middle-order and Rilee Rossouw showing his class, it seems inevitable that one of stalwart Rassie van der Dussen, appointed captain Temba Bavuma or even a struggling Quinton de Kock will not be selected for the World Cup in Australia in October.

Wayne Parnell’s superb five-wicket haul in the last T20 against Ireland also complicates the all-rounder situation, where he, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo are probably competing for just two spots in a 15-man squad.

“As part of the selection panel, there are some tough choices to be made,” Boucher admitted after the 44-run win in Bristol on Friday night. “But it’s a good headache to have, especially with the World Cup around the corner.

“There’s great competition in the squad in quite a few different positions. We gave guys opportunities and they have come good. I like the brand of cricket they have played, it has been brave but smart.

“The guys coming back in have had fantastic attitudes and put in good performances, they’ve definitely added a different dimension. There’s not space for anyone to rest, guys keep challenging for selection and pushing the others to greater heights.

“It’s a very healthy place to be in for South African cricket. A year ago we would not have been having these discussions, so we have a lot more depth now,” Boucher said.

The coach said he was particularly impressed with what Hendricks has done, as he has basically reinvented himself as an aggressive opening batsman.

“Reeza has really come good, being Man of the Series twice in a row and scoring four successive fifties against very good opposition. We always knew he could play.

“But the way he has gone about it, his change in mindset to now being more aggressive, has really stood out. I know Justin Sammons [batting consultant] has done a lot of work with him.

“So credit to Justin, he’s been fantastic with the blueprints he has come up with and he’s had tremendous conversations with the players.

“As the coach, it’s up to me to come up with strategies – how we want to play in different conditions in Australia. The selection panel will then decide what characters they want to get that done,” Boucher said.

Nkwe’s disillusionment & desire to resign: Products of being sidelined or reluctance to travel? 0

Posted on September 08, 2021 by Ken

Depending on who you believe, Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe’s disillusionment and desire to resign from his post were products of being sidelined from important management decisions and ill-discipline within the squad, or his reluctance to keep travelling with the team and instead become more involved in the strategic side of the national team.
Cricket South Africa confirmed on Monday aternoon that Nkwe had “signalled an intention to resign” and the Board is currently consulting with the assistant coach on his future.
A journalist known for his campaign against current head coach Mark Boucher broke the news of Nkwe’s resignation and quoted “insiders” and “sources” as saying the reasons were that his work environment had become a “contaminated space”, with him feeling sidelined and not involved in the decision-making of the team. The report also said Nkwe is not happy with the discipline of certain senior players and some members of management.
But other sources have said Nkwe is hesitant to travel and wants to become more involved in the long-term strategic and technical future of the national team.
Whether it is due to divisions within Proteas management or Nkwe wanting a different role, it is a major blow to CSA’s hopes of grooming Nkwe to take over as head coach after Boucher.
Which is why the Board did not initially accept his resignation and have instead initiated emergency talks with the 38-year-old in order to keep him in the CSA cricket structures.
With the Proteas due to leave on Wednesday for a tour of Sri Lanka, their final dress rehearsal before the T20 World Cup, it is not the sort of disruption or potentially divisive situation that the team needs.
The Proteas will already be taking on Sri Lanka without their regular bowling coach in Charl Langeveldt, who is still quarantining after testing positive for Covid. Titans head coach Mandla Mashimbyi replaces him, and it is his second tour with the national team, having stood in for Nkwe on the West Indies trip in June/July.
Nkwe missed that tour for “family reasons”. Or were there other forces at play?

Jake hopes Captain’s Challenge is used to reverse obvious mistakes & not as a weapon 0

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White said on Friday that he is hopeful that the Captain’s Challenge will be used to reverse obvious mistakes in referee’s decisions and not as a “tactical weapon” in this weekend’s Rainbow Cup matches that see the Sharks travel to Pretoria to take on the Currie Cup champions.

The new law trial gives teams one review each to look at either an incident in the build-up to a try or suspected foul play. A successful challenge means the review is retained, but last weekend the Bulls’ match against the Stormers was regularly interrupted by referrals, which almost seemed to have become tit-for-tat between the two teams after Steven Kitshoff used it against his Bulls counterpart Duane Vermeulen in the opening minutes.

“I think the reviews have not been properly thought out and they probably could be used as a tactical weapon. But the feedback I’ve received from Mark Lawrence [SA Rugby referees head] and SA Rugby is that from now on unless the officials are 100% sure watching the replay in real time then they won’t go back on their decision. We can’t go back and look at every single breakdown because you’ll always find something on slow-mo.

“So I think common sense is coming out now. It took two hours, six minutes for our match against the Stormers to finish and apparently 63 minutes were lost across all the Rainbow Cup matches in the northern and southern hemisphere last weekend because of all the stoppages. That’s one hour of non-activity. We still need to make sure we stamp out head injuries, but some balance is important,” White said on Friday.

The Bulls coach said he was particularly looking forward to the Sharks as adversaries this weekend because they are rated so highly as a team to beat.

“The Sharks are obviously a good side and they have not made many changes, consistency is what they’re going for. They have 10 points from two games and it’s just like when I arrived at Loftus last year – the Sharks were top of the pops from Super Rugby and everyone said they were the team to beat. It’s exactly the same now, they’re a good side and I look forward to playing them again.

“It will be like the Currie Cup final again in the sense that we must win because they have a two-point headstart on us with those two bonus points. Our penalty count is a concern, but then I see that the Sharks have also given away an extraordinary amount of penalties, so it’s obviously just the way the game is being refereed at the moment. But we have the best referee [Jaco Peyper] in South Africa this weekend,” White said.

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