It was always going to be messy.
You can certainly conclude that the appointment of two white men should be less relevant than the fact that they were the two best names in South African cricket, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, Smith and Boucher were to be judged not only by their pedigree but by their whiteness.
And in Nkwe, Boucher replaced someone who was black and more qualified. Nkwe did not have Boucher’s international career, so he upskilled with a Level 4 certificate. Boucher decided not to bother going beyond Level 2 (given to all former international players), partly because CSA had asked him to lecture on the same Level 3 curriculum he was planning to do. was. As a small taste of the struggles to come, he was a spicy one.
Collectively, that expertise has led South Africa to four of eight Test series wins, two of eight ODI series wins and five of 12 T20I series wins. Overall, under Boucher, South Africa won the same number of series they lost across formats – 11 – but his tenure would not be judged by numbers or race alone.
Does this all sound tedious? it must have been.
The task is not straightforward for the new head coach, as the need to revive a team in transition is secondary to the inevitability of change. The right candidate should not only be an excellent coach, but he should also understand that providing quality opportunities is not just about coloring by numbers. Foreign coaches, even coaches of color like Gibson, usually struggle with this.
Whoever comes in can’t even be after much money. CSA is not short of cash and their head coach’s salary will not match the amount available in the IPL or county scenario. Boucher himself will earn more from his SA20 stint of a few weeks than a full year as national head coach.
One thing is for sure: this time they will try to do it the right way. Jobs will be advertised, candidates will be interviewed, t crosses will be made and I have been prepared to escape the chaos that tarnished Boucher’s tenure. Because they can’t go through another mess like this.