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Proteas coach Mark Boucher is excited to be working with new Cricket SA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe.
The nature of their relationship has been in the spotlight because Nkwe sensationally resigned as Proteas assistant coach due to differences with Boucher in 2021.
Whatever their previous disagreements, the two must work together for the betterment of the game and they have insisted they have a good relationship.
“I am quite excited to work with him. Besides reports of the past, myself and Enoch have always had a good relationship and we had a nice chat before we left for England.
“I think he’s got some fantastic ideas and he’s been in the system for some time. He knows exactly what is required and I am looking forward to working with him,” Boucher said.
SA are in England for a two-month tour that starts with the three-match ODI series, the first of which will be played next Tuesday in Durham.
Boucher said the two warm-up matches against the England Lions this week are key for acclimatisation and players finding form. “We have a few options and these games in the next few days will hopefully allow us to understand and get to know where the players are as individuals,” he said.
“So we have quite a good idea, barring one or two extra batters, what our line-up is going to be. We’ll just have to see how the form plays itself out and hopefully we get the proper headache of having everyone in the runs.”
Boucher said the warm-up games will provide a good indication as to the starting XI in the first ODI.
“There are 17 players, so as much as we can we’ll try to give everyone a go. Unfortunately, it’s two games of cricket. In the first we’ve opted for a game where we’ll try to get all our batters to bat and then [in the second] all of our bowlers to bowl.
“We’re having training and practices around these two games too, where we’ll try to accommodate everyone. It’s quite difficult to do that when you’ve got 17 guys to look after.
“The second game will be a List A game, so it’s basically the 11 you choose. I’d like to think that it’s going to be close to what we are looking to play in the first game [versus England].”
On keeping everyone happy, Boucher said: “It’s not new to us where we’ve had big squads of even 19. I think communication is key and the players need to understand that out of your squad, only 11 can go onto the park.
“In the short time we’ve got before the first ODI, we need to look after those 11 players as we get close to the starting game, so we’ll see what we can do to try to accommodate everyone. The conversations will be had and hopefully everyone gets an opportunity to put their case forward.”
Proteas ODI squad: Keshav Maharaj (capt, Dolphins), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Janneman Malan (Rocks), Aiden Markram (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (North West Dragons), Anrich Nortjé (Warriors), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Lizaad Williams (Titans), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins), Kyle Verreynne (Western Province)
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.