Boucher insists his exit won't hamper Proteas' T20 World Cup: 'I'm 100% committed to the players'

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Mark Boucher. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Mark Boucher. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
  • Mark Boucher believes his decision to leave the Proteas coaching job for the Mumbai Indians won't hamper SA's T20 World Cup chances.
  • Boucher will step down from his role at the end of the men's ICC showpiece in Australia next month.
  • He said he has always been committed to the Proteas and the team since taking over in 2019, despite leaving a year before his contract expired.

Proteas head coach Mark Boucher believes his shock departure from the men's national team will not hamper the spirit ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.

Speaking at the departure press conference before the Proteas headed to India for a three-match T20 and ODI tour before the big showpiece, Boucher said he remained "100% committed to the players".

Boucher announced he would step away from his Proteas role after nearly three years to take charge of Indian Premier League giants Mumbai Indians at the close of the T20 World Cup, which ends 13 November.

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"It's going to be very easy for me to keep the focus of the players. I'm 100% committed to the players and to the Proteas going into a World Cup," said Boucher.

"I'll remain 100% committed to this team. My decisions from a personal perspective, it’s not going to hamper these guys at all.

"I've always said that I'm in this job for the players and the players alone and I will continue to give them everything that I have to try get the best outcome for them at the World Cup."

Boucher, who had a four-year contract to take SA to the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India next year, wouldn't expound on his reasons why he would relinquish the chance to take the team he built from 2019 to the biggest event in the sport.

In his time in charge, Boucher faced a mountain of off-field tribulations that at one point seemed to threaten his job, including racism allegations emanating from the CSA Social Justice and Nation-building hearings.

His employers later dropped the charges against him.

"On Mumbai Indians questions, I'm under contractual obligations by CSA and Mumbai Indians that I don't want to and don't have to answer any questions [about] that. So I'm not going to comment on that," he said.

However, the former Proteas wicketkeeper added that he wasn't "motivated" to leave but saw an opportunity to better his future and family going forward.

"I don't think it was a motivation; it was a situation I was put into and I saw an opportunity for my future and my family going forward. And I took that opportunity," Boucher said.

Boucher insisted that the squad had the capacity to challenge at next month's World Cup.

"It's a massive World Cup for us and I'm really looking forward to it. I know the players are looking forward to it as well," he said.

"If you have a look at our squad, I think it's very strong as well and there's a massive opportunity for us potentially, if we play good cricket.

"I believe we've got the players to [win]. You can't guarantee a World Cup win or anything like that but we've got the players to really push for a great outcome at the World Cup."

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