Boucher a welcome face in TV coverage

2013-07-27 00:00

A FEW months ago, during the Gary Kirsten coaching tenure, Mark Boucher got a seemingly short-term consultative role within the Proteas set-up.

Holder of so many wicketkeeping records and a real veteran of both Test and limited-overs international combat, he certainly seemed a logical fit to become a gloveman guru to the likes of AB de Villiers and much less experienced Quinton de Kock.

Since then, though, Kirsten has stepped down and the two most notable new additions to the coaching team, now headed by Russell Domingo, have been Adrian Birrell and Claude Henderson.

Whether Boucher — his playing career abruptly cut short by that awful, much- publicised eye mishap in England last year — has any meaningful future as a contributor on the CSA/Proteas mentoring front remains to be seen.

He appeared to slip back into relative privacy for a while, albeit putting much energy into his passion for rhino conservation.

So it was pleasing to many followers of the national side (as evidence by a barrage of favourable comments on Twitter and the like) to see Boucher suddenly resurface in public terms as a studio pundit early in the ODI series in Sri Lanka.

I thought he dovetailed very well with Shaun Pollock and Victor Mpitsang — the latter increasingly assertive after a shy start — during the second ODI in Colombo, with Sias du Plessis anchoring the Randburg-based element to the presentation.

Boucher has some prior experience of media work because he did a short stint as a match commentator during the 2011 Indian Premier League.

I think he is infinitely better at studio stuff (than describing live play), where he can simply be “Mark Boucher” as a front-of-camera expert contributor of natural gravitas, instead of having to get to grips with the specialised nuances of ball-by-ball description.

He doesn’t pull punches, and gave good insight into the various hazards and challenges associated with playing and practising in Sri Lanka, which has been a graveyard for many SA teams.

Ditto “Polly”, which seemed only logical when you recall how often “c Boucher b Pollock” was a productive feature of scoreboards involving the national team worldwide.

It’s good that SuperSport involve fresh figures in studio duty from time to time, as ­evidenced earlier when Graeme Smith had a confident stint during the ICC Champions ­Trophy.

Sometimes their rugby equivalent seems a bit too much of a closed shop; with cricket you feel there has been better room for fluidity and a variety of personalities.

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