Don’t discount the possibility of AB returning to action, says Mark Boucher
Newly appointed Proteas team director Mark Boucher says the possibility of luring AB de Villiers back into international cricket action should not be discounted.
De Villiers, the former Proteas’ captain and world-class batsman, retired in 2017 but reports emerged during SA’s disastrous Cricket World Cup campaign a few months ago of him wanting to rescind the decision before the tournament.
Boucher’s first assignment will be next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
“When you go to a World Cup‚ you want your best players playing for you. I feel that he’s one of the best players‚ then why wouldn’t I want to have conversations with him?” Boucher said.
“I've only just got into the job‚ so I will have conversations with players and see where they are.”
Boucher was appointed by his former teammate Graeme Smith‚ who is now the acting director of cricket. Smith is expected to make batting and bowling consultant appointments soon.
Boucher said Cricket SA’s (CSA’s) recent leadership and administrative instability does have the potential of destabilising a team. Having the right leadership and structures are critical in taking the team forward, he said.
“When you lack leadership‚ it does tend to seep into the organisation as a whole. I’m confident we’ve got the right leadership at the top that can filter through into all spheres of our cricket‚” he said. “It's there now and these are the guys who have been given the task of making the decisions. I’m confident they’re going to make the right calls.
“The game has been hurt and the bottom line is that Enoch [Nkwe] and I have been put in place to get the Proteas doing well. If we look after that space‚ I think we'll get the fans and crowds behind us.”
The Proteas have lost five consecutive Tests this year since February. They were crushed by a rampant India team in three Tests‚ two of which they lost by an innings.
Boucher was part of the national team that went through the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga.
“I've been involved in sides over the years where there's been tough times,” he said. “One of the toughest was the match-fixing saga and from there‚ we went and beat Australia in a one-day series.
“I think we have a good chance of turning things around‚” he said. “Sport is amazing‚ especially the game of cricket. I’ve been in set-ups where things have been turned around in a couple of days and that’s what I’m looking to do.
“I understand there’s a lot of work to be done before that. I’m also not here to reinvent the wheel. The players we’ll select will have their own style of playing and we’ll leave that to them.”