‘The allegations are hurtful’ – Boucher

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Proteas head coach Mark Boucher denies accusations of racism. Photo: File
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher denies accusations of racism. Photo: File
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SPORT


Proteas head coach Mark Boucher will make a written submission to Cricket SA’s ongoing Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings following the furore created by former team-mate Paul Adams, implicating him as one of his racist abusers during their playing days.

In his testimony at the SJN hearings – which are being held as a way to address the lack of transformation and racism in cricket – Adams said Boucher, among other former Proteas team-mates, used to call him “brown sh*t” in a post-match song sung in his “honour”.

Adams’ testimony took place last Thursday, the same day the Proteas were playing Ireland in the second of their three-match T20 series in Belfast.

In a statement then, Boucher said: 

Once I have returned to South Africa, I will address any issues that concern me appropriately after I have had the opportunity to get a detailed account of them.
Boucher

Having flown into the country with the team on Monday, Boucher said he had been asked to make a written submission to the hearings, which are being chaired by Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza in his capacity as cricket’s transformation ombud.

“I have been asked by the SJN to submit a written reply to the various allegations made during the hearings that have taken place,” said Boucher in a statement sent to City Press on enquiring about the latest on his position.

“The documents that I have been furnished with, as well as the various reports in the media, require my full attention and consideration, which I will be giving to them over the course of the next week,” he said.

READ: Side Entry | For the umpteenth time, the media does its bit for racism’s status quo

“My intentions are to cooperate fully with all requests made by the ombud so that the objectives of the SJN can be achieved.”

Giving a glimpse of the contents of his pending submission, Boucher went some way towards disputing the allegations against him.

The allegations in the media currently are hurtful, factually incorrect, and do not serve the greater good of our country or the intentions of the SJN in mending past hurts and building relations.
Boucher


“I will not be commenting any further until the process with the SJN has been completed,” he said.

Ironically, the allegations of racism levelled against Boucher come at a time when his team had managed to secure a few decent series results over the past two months. Having beaten the West Indies 2-0 and 3-2 in tests and T20 internationals, they drew 1-1 in one-day internationals with Ireland and beat the same hosts 3-0 in the shortest format of the game.

READ: Side Entry | CSA has its revolutionary moment, but will the warring stop?

A record-breaking wicketkeeper when he was forced into retirement after an eye injury in 2012, Boucher’s tenure as Proteas coach has been nothing short of embattled from the very start. His appointment was questioned on account of his relationship with former Proteas captain and current Cricket SA director of cricket Graeme Smith, who is now his boss.

Despite his distinguished playing history in international cricket and winning five domestic titles with the Titans, Boucher’s qualifications came under scrutiny with regard to whether he had a level 3 coaching certificate or not.

That was followed by results that have largely been underwhelming as the Proteas find their feet following the departure of several experienced players who led them to the number one test ranking in 2012 and a semifinal place at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.


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