Blow for SA as rising star Keegan Petersen ruled out of NZ tour with COVID
Johannesburg, Feb 2 (Cricket News) Keegan Petersen, the hero of South Africa's home Test series win over India, was on Wednesday ruled out of their tour of New Zealand after testing positive for COVID-19, dealing a blow to the team's prospects.
The batter has been replaced by Zubayr Hamza.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said in a statement that Peterson was doing "well" and is "asymptomatic".
"Cricket South Africa's medical team will keep in close contact with him to ensure his physical and mental well-being," the statement read.
The Proteas will depart South Africa for New Zealand on Wednesday.
In the preceding three-match Test series against a formidable Indian side, the 28-year-old Petersen topped the run charts with 276 runs from six innings at an average of 46.00.
He was the only player to score three half-centuries in the series, registering scores of 72, 82 and 62, while also impressing with his fielding skills.
South Africa lost the first Test by 113 runs in Centurion, before fighting back strongly with successive seven-wicket victories in Johannesburg and Cape Town to claim the series.
South Africa are scheduled to play two Tests in New Zealand, starting February 17.
Meanwhile, according to a report in Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand captain and its premier batter Kane Williamson is likely to miss the Tests against South Africa as he continues his rehabilitation from an elbow injury.
The New Zealand squad for the two Tests is expected to be named later this week.
Also Read : CSA disciplinary hearing on Mark Boucher postponed until May
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CSA disciplinary hearing on Mark Boucher postponed until May
Johannesburg, Feb 2 (Cricket News) The disciplinary hearing against South Africa head coach Mark Boucher, who faces charges of racism and possible sacking from the post by the country's cricket board (CSA), has has been postponed until May.
This was announced by the chairperson of the hearing on Tuesday.
Advocate Terry Motau, who is chairing the disciplinary hearing, in a statement said he has agreed to Boucher's request for dates in May that will allow him to call current South African players to testify on his behalf.
"CSA (Cricket South Africa) argued for expediency and a speedy commencement and finalisation of the proceedings, given that some of the allegations occurred some time ago," the statement from Motau read according to 'Sport24'.
"On behalf of Mr Boucher, it was indicated that he intends to call some of the players to testify on his behalf and that these players will be part of the Tour of New Zealand from 17 February to 1 March 2022 and the Bangladesh Tour of South Africa from 18 March to 11 April 2022 and that having a hearing in-between the two tours would be disruptive.
"Having considered both arguments, I agree with arguments advanced on behalf of Mr Boucher and I have decided to postpone the matter for the hearing to be held in the week commencing 16 to 20 May 2022." South Africa will travel to England for an all-format tour in July, by which time the Boucher matter is expected to have been resolved.
One of the best international wicketkeepers of his time, Boucher was accused by former South Africa team-mate Paul Adams of leading a song which had a racially derogatory wording in meetings after matches in their playing days.
Following the allegations, CSA had served Boucher with a seven-page charge sheet in January, which accused him of gross misconduct and bringing the sport's apex body into disrepute through historical and current handling of racial issues.
The hearing can only begin at the conclusion of South Africa's home summer due to availability of players.
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S African Indian-origin cricket commentators laud Proteas captain Temba Bavuma
Johannesburg, Jan 25 (Cricket News) Two of South Africa’s leading Indian-origin cricket commentators have lauded Temba Bavuma for his astute leadership during Proteas' 3-0 ODI series victory over visiting Indians and said his calm demeanour has brought "stability" to a team in transition.
Commentators Aslam Khota and Fareed Dockrat said Bavuma did a commendable job as captain of the South African team which was in transition after the retirement of some of the country's greats of the game.
Khota and Dockrat noted Bavuma's ability to bring stability to the team after the country's cricket was rocked by racism allegations against former captains Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers as well as against current coach Mark Boucher during their playing days.
“As leader and batsman in the ODI team, his presence was very important. His calm, astute and at times clever leadership was, for me, one of the highlights of the 3-0 ODI triumph over India,” said Khota, who himself was denied the opportunity to play for South Africa in the apartheid era.
“Bavuma’s cool demeanour in South African middle order during Test matches was key to the way they performed and kept themselves in the competition to eventually come out winners," Khota, himself an accomplished player and administrator of many years standing, said about the Proteas' 2-1 Test series win prior to the ODI matches.
"He was also captaining the Proteas at a very important time. First of all, because of (racism allegation) issues on and other off-the -field issues in South African cricket." Khota is also looking forward to Bavuma leading the Proteas in the ODI World Cup in India in 2023.
"South Africa are not in the best position in one-day cricket in that if they do not finish in top-8, they will then have to play the qualifiers. So, it’s a vital period for South Africa in 50-over format.
"Bavuma is obviously going to be there at the helm when they play the World Cup in India in 2023. He remains one of the most important players in the South African line-up in all three formats,” Khota said.
Concurring with Khota’s comments, sports broadcaster Dockrat said Cricket South Africa’s transformation processes were paying dividends in the likes of Bavuma.
“Temba has answered CSA's desire to find a run-scoring Black African top order batsman, but his astute leadership and clever tactics has also solved another challenge -- a skipper who can take the helm for its challenges going forward,” he said.
Dockrat was referring to the long-standing issues at CSA to make the Proteas representative of the various sections of the population in the country after being exclusively restricted only to players from the white minority community for decades under apartheid.
“While Bavuma was initially doubted as a white ball limited overs player, some questioning his diminutive stature, he has not only allayed those misgivings, but cemented his place with a barrage of runs,” Dockrat said.
“Bavuma’s role as a captain in the emphatic 3-0 whitewash of India was never more apparent than at the death overs at Newlands, where he moved his bowling unit around to clinch victory when India looked the likelier winners,” he said.
Dockrat said Bavuma has brought to the team the stability which was evident in the Proteas squad after a long time, bringing in focus the same unassuming style that he bats with.
“Bavuma’s success is not just restricted to this series against India. At the T20 World Cup in the UAE, South Africa were unfortunate not to make the semi-final in a run where Bavuma as captain secured some impressive wins,” he said.
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Managing conversations around change room has been the biggest challenge: Bavuma
Cape Town, Jan 24 (Cricket News) Managing the conversations in the change room has been the "biggest challenge" for Temba Bavuma in his nascent captaincy career as South African cricket deals with one off the field controversy after another.
The series win over India was badly needed for South Africa cricket which is going through administrative crisis and allegations of racism have been levelled against a few big names including head coach Mark Boucher. Speaking to the media after completing whitewash of India in the ODIs, Bavuma said it is still early days for him as captain. He had taken charge in March last year.
"I don't think it's easy (captaining the team). There are a lot of dynamics that you need to manage. For me, the biggest thing is trying to keep cricket the main focus amongst the guys," Bavuma said on Sunday.
"I hate to bring this up but it's been a challenging period for the team, for the players, for particular members of management.
"There's been a lot of scrutiny surrounding the team and surrounding the organisation, so to manage the conversations happening around the change-room and to ensure our energy is 100 per cent geared towards performing out there, for me, has been the biggest challenge." South African cricket has been hit by controversy with the team coach and former cricketer Boucher being accused of racism and being charged with 'gross misconduct' in the findings of the Social Justice and Nation Building report.
Bavuma, who scored a century in the opening match of the series and led from the front, said, "it means a lot as a player. Knowing I contributed to the winning cause makes it better.
"You will always be judged on your record and to convincingly beat an Indian side speaks a lot to my captaincy. But things are still early from a leadership point of view. I will take the positives but I will try very hard not to get ahead of myself," the diminutive right-handed batter said.
Stating that he enjoys the captaincy, the 31-year old Bavuma said, "It seems to have brought the benefit of that showing in my own performances too.
"I enjoy the tactical side of things. There's a lot of thinking involved. And that thinking extends to your own game too. I suppose I'm a bit more clearer in terms of what I want myself to do," he said.
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De Kock made it easy for me: Janneman Malan
Paarl, Jan 22 (Cricket News) South Africa batter Janneman Malan was all praise for senior opener Quinton De Kock, whose attacking batting at the onset made it easier for him during the the middle over during their seven-wicket chase.
"Quinton made it easy for me at the start. I just tried to give him as much strike as possible because I just wanted to let him go do his thing. He played a couple of ridiculous shots, which are good signs," said Malan, who hit 91 as South Africa chased down 288 to take a winning lead in the second ODI of the three-match series against India here on Friday.
"He is one of the best batters in the world when he gets going, so it was good to bat with him," the right-handed opener said of the flamboyant De Kock, who hammered a quickfire 78 (66 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) to put South Africa on the road to victory.
Steady partnership became key =================== The ability of the Proteas batters to put in partnerships of significance, Malan, who hit 8 boundaries and 1 six in his 91, said was also a factor in their successes in this series.
"We were happy to have two hundreds in the previous game, and maybe we could have had me or Quinny getting to a hundred here, but I'm very proud of the partnerships we had," said Malan, who had a 80-run stand with his skipper Temba Bavuma.
"We had a hundred partnership and two 50 partnerships, which means the batters are coming in with good plans and good intent and building nice partnerships to make it easier for each other. So...very good signs," he added.
Not concerned about Mark Boucher 'racism' controversy =================================== Asked if the issue of head coach Mark Boucher being accused of racism and being charged with 'gross misconduct' in the findings of the Social Justice and Nation Building report was a distraction, Malan said it was not the case, adding "I just tried to focus on the game and playing for everyone on the team and the country." "I don't wanna sound ignorant or uninterested...It is an important series... for me, I just tried to focus on the game and playing for everyone on the team and the country," he added.
To a question as to how it felt to face the India attack which included the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin among others, Malan said, "a guy like me, have seen them bowl in IPL, international games and it is good to get game time against them.
"It is kind of a challenge for me to do so in the first and second games...It is not the best bowling conditions, it is a slowish wicket. They are a world class team and bowlers, it is good to get a challenge against them," he added.
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Terry Motau appointed chairperson of disciplinary hearing against Boucher
Johannesburg, Jan 20 (Cricket News) Cricket South Africa has appointed senior counsel, advocate Terry Motau as the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing into allegations of racism against national head coach Mark Boucher.
The appointment has come after Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) in a report in December accused Boucher, former captain and current CSA director Graeme Smith, and former batter AB de Villiers of unfairly discriminating against black players.
Allegations of racism were levelled against Boucher by his former Proteas teammate, Paul Adams.
The governing body said if the independent inquiry finds Boucher guilty, it "could lead to his dismissal" but also emphasised that "it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise." In the 235-page report, SJN comminssion head Dumisa Ntsebeza SC had indicated that he was not in a position to make "definite findings" and recommended that a further process be undertaken in this regard.
"In keeping with this approach, the Board was obligated to institute further formal enquiries into CSA employees, suppliers or contractors who are implicated by the SJN report, and this is the first of these processes," CSA said in a statement.
CSA said that a charge sheet, containing both the disciplinary charges against Boucher, as well as his rights, was provided to him on January 17. "The Board remains mindful of its duty to treat allegations of racism or discrimination with the utmost seriousness and in a manner that ensures fairness and due process in terms of South Africa’s Constitution and labour legislation," said CSA Board Chairperson, Lawson Naidoo.
"It is now up to the inquiry to determine to which extent the allegations are true and justify the need for further disciplinary steps." The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.
"CSA emphasises that any implicated party will be given a fair opportunity to be heard so that finality can be achieved,” said Naidoo.
The issue came to light after Boucher and former spinner Paul Adams testified that the latter was given a nickname, which had racial overtones, by his national team-mates, including the current head coach.
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It will rank up there in history of Test cricket in South Africa: Boucher
Cape Town, Jan 14 (Cricket News) South Africa head coach Mark Boucher on Friday ranked the remarkable, come-from-behind 2-1 series win against World No. 1 India as one of the best in their history of Test cricket.
Trailing 0-1 after losing the Boxing Day opening Test at Centurion, the Dean Elgar-led side showed immense resilience to win back-to-back matches at the Wanderers and Newlands to upset the firm favourites.
"To put it into perspective we have lost three tosses. A lot of people, including some of the media, had written us off after day one of the first Test of the series," Boucher said at the post-match media interaction.
"So, to come back after losing the first Test badly and then to win the second Test and now win the third Test is pretty incredible.
"It will rank up there -- in top five must be. Where we've come from, the on-field and off-field stuff... It's good to get some good results.
"The way the whole Test series was played was hard fought, some good cricket, it must be up there with some of the best Test series to have played in South Africa." Will take a lot of confidence from this triumph ============================= Going into the series, the hosts were short on experience as they played their first Test in six months at Centurion. They played just six Tests under new captain Elgar as Australia opted not to travel for a four-match series last March.
Elgar started his journey with a 2-0 win over the West Indies before losing to India in the Boxing Day Test.
"It's certainly something that we can take a lot of confidence from. This team is on a mission, really. We've been through some tough times of late and they have driven in a way that is pretty special.
"I'm incredibly proud of where they come from in a short period of time and the results are starting to come through now which is fantastic.
"Our feet are firmly on the ground. We know that we're not the finished product. We've got goals ahead of us. So we will enjoy this win," Boucher said.
Going into the fourth day's play, South Africa started from 101 for two and finished the task with as many as seven wickets in hand.
"These guys deserve it. They've been through a lot together as a unit. So it's just nice to see that.
"It's a close knit group of guys. The World Cup was a massive disappointment, although we played some good cricket throughout.
"It is just something that was really needed in our dressing room to put the hard work in." Not surprised with the character shown ======================== In both the Tests, the inexperienced side under Elgar were set tricky targets of over 200 in bouncy conditions.
Elgar showed the way in Johannesburg, helping the side chase down 240 in a seven-wicket win.
Here, Keegan Petersen top-scored with 82 -- his third successive Test fifty -- as the hosts chased down the 212-run target.
"It doesn't surprise me because you got Dean as well who's that sort of character who leads from the front.
"You've got Temba (Bavuma) as the vice-captain who is the same fighter with that spirit in him, so you've got two leaders like that who the guys are going to follow.
"The guys stood up with regards to their own games as well." Boucher added, "To put these things into perspective about where this team is and where the Indian team is... They are probably the best team in world cricket Test-wise at the moment.
"They've gone over to England, beat England, beat Australia in Australia. So this is something that our boys won't take for granted." Loss for words for Keegan ================= For South Africa, Petersen and 21-year-old lanky left-arm pacer Marco Jansen were the finds of the series.
Heaping praise on the duo, Boucher said: "You get two youngsters who have just come into the side. Both of them deserve their little spotlights." Petersen, who was playing only his second series after a lacklustre debut against the West Indies in June, impressed with his solidity and composure at No. 3.
The 28-year-old scored three fifties in four innings and each time bettered his score to be adjudged Man of the Series. He was also the Man of the Match in their series-clinching win here.
"Keegan probably didn't start off as well in the West Indies as he would have liked. Then he didn't start off too well at the Supersport Park.
"But he's always shown signs of the player that we are seeing right now. He just stuck to his guns. He's in a good position to have a guy like Dean next to him. He (Dean) really backs him.
"He's a tough nut and batting at No. 3 in Test cricket, you have got to be tough, you got to know your game, technically you got to be sound as well. Hopefully he just gets better, better and better.
"It's a very tough position to play in South Africa in our conditions, batting at No. 3. The way that he's come through the series, I'm at a loss for words. In a big series, against big players and to get the Man of the Series, he fully deserved it," Boucher said of Petersen.
Found a superstar in Jansen ================== Uncapped left-arm seamer Jansen was a revelation and grew from strength to strength after an unimpressive debut in the Boxing Day Test.
"When you lose out a guy like Andre Nortje (hip injury), it was a big loss for us but then you get Marco coming to the side. We are really in a good space at the moment." "A lot of people questioned his selection in the first Test. He didn't start off too well and the media jumped on him a bit, which I thought was quite unfair," he said of Jansen.
"But we saw what he had in Pakistan. He was with us in the West Indies, and it was just a matter of time before he came through because we can see the skillset that he's got and the variation." Averaging a superb 16.47, Jansen finished with 19 wickets, behind their top wicket taker Kagiso Rabada (20).
"Now when we look at him and probably everyone's looking the same, what a find we've got, another addition to our bowling attack. He has a lot of cricket to learn. We find a superstar in him as well. He's only going to get better," he said.
We've turned the corner quite a while ago ========================== The head coach further went on to say that they have turned the corner after some forgettable performances in the recent past including a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
"I believe that we've turned the corner quite a while ago. Our results have been pretty solid over the last six months to a year.
"We had the chance to try a few players. I think that's starting to come good now because we started to get a depth of cricketers that we can turn to," he signed off.
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I don't think you are conducting yourself extremely well: Elgar told Rabada to fire him up
Johannesburg, Jan 7 (Cricket News) South African skipper Dean Elgar has opened up about his behind the scene conversation with Kagiso Rabada that fired up the senior pacer to deliver a game-changing spell in the second Test against India.
Rabada scalped six wickets, three in each innings, to play a pivotal role in South Africa's series-levelling seven-wicket win in the second Test on Thursday.
During the post-match presentation, Elgar had said that "sometimes KG needs a rocket" and "there was something that happened behind the scenes but we're not going to get into that." "I went up to KG and I said to him, 'You are an immensely respected cricketer within our group and at the moment I don't think you are conducting yourself extremely well," Elgar said during the post-match press-conference.
"I know what KG is capable of. When KG's got his tail up, there's no better bowler than him and I have experienced quite a few guys who have been part of this team. It was a good chat.
"I can have those chats with KG and he responds extremely well. He takes it away, he lets it process and thinks about it overnight and then he comes back the next day with a scenario for me." Elgar had confronted Rabada after the first Test after he had gone wicketless on the first day but ended up with seven wickets.
"He (Rabada) was the one who came to me and said what we spoke about: I hit the nail on the head," Elgar said.
"KG has got that attitude, and he's got the want and he wants to bowl and he wants to contribute in a massive way. You have to utilise that as a captain." The Proteas skipper said Rabada "can sometimes be a little bit too relaxed and he needs to understand that his performance on the field and his performance in the change-room is huge." South Africa coach Mark Boucher also revealed a "bit of a spark" was needed to get Rabada into the zone.
"There's certain guys - Dale Steyn was one of them - who at certain times in his career need harsh words behind closed doors to bring the best out of him," Boucher told 'SuperSport'.
"KG, that spell he bowled, broke the game open for us. There was a bit of a spark in the dressing room; maybe it was what was needed in order to get him into that space.
"And we know when KG is like that it's difficult to get the ball away from him. But also you want him on your side rather than the opposition team.
"There were fair words that were said and I think he's taken it on board and we're hoping we can get him into that sweet spot again for the next Test because it can only bode well for us." The third and final Test begins at Cape Town on January 11.
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You don't expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age: Boucher on de Kock's retirement
Johannesburg, Jan 2 (Cricket News) For South Africa head coach Mark Boucher, batter Quinton de Kock's sudden Test retirement is a "shock" since "you do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age".
De Kock, only 29, announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the opening match against India, which the hosts lost by 113 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
"You do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age," Boucher said.
"It came as a shock. But we fully respect his reasons," local media quoted him as saying.
De Kock scored 3300 runs from 54 Tests at an average of 38.82 with six hundreds after making his debut in 2014.
Boucher said the Proteas have no luxury to dwell on de Kock's decision but must instead focus on the second Test against India which gets underway at the Wanderers here on Monday.
"He (de Kock) had a fantastic Test career. It’s sad, but we’ll have to keep going," Boucher said.
"We’re in the middle of a series and we cannot wonder about it for too long. We need to focus on the guys who come in his place and hopefully, they can do something similar to what Quinny offered us." While the Proteas' think-tank knew that de Kock wouldn't be available for the second and third Test due to the birth of his first child, they didn't expect the first Test loss against India to be his final game in whites for South Africa.
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As players, we have gotten used to bad news around us: SA captain Dean Elgar
Johannesburg, Dec 21 (Cricket News) South Africa cricket was hit by yet another controversy relating to racial prejudice charges against some of its legends ahead of the first Test against India, but skipper Dean Elgar says his team remains focussed on putting up a professional effort against the "best team" in the world.
South African cricket has been going through administrative crisis over the last 24 months, so much so that Elgar can't remember who is running the show at the moment. To add to that, the sport has also been rocked by racism allegations.
Last week, the Social Justice and Nation Building Commission (SJN), in its report, accused former South Africa captain and current CSA director Graeme Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former batter AB de Villiers of engaging in racially “prejudicial conduct” against players.
The SJN also accused CSA of discriminating against players on basis of their race.
In a virtual media interaction arranged by CSA ahead of the Boxing Day Test against India, Elegar was expectedly asked about the latest controversy involving South African cricket but he said the team is not greatly affected by it.
"No, it hasn't really been too tough for us. As players, we've kind of gotten used to some bad news around us the last year and a half. We try to adapt to it accordingly. It's not ideal, obviously, to have these headlines coming up though," he said.
"We just want to focus on our cricket. We want to focus on playing a really tough series against India. It's great to have them in South Africa again.
"So yeah, for us, it's all about focusing on cricket, focusing on our next few days of preparation, kind of nail down our cricketing skills," said the southpaw.
However, Elgar said instability in Cricket South Africa administration has been tough to deal with.
"We haven't had a lot of stability from an administrative point of view. We've had so many different administrators that we don't even know who's there now. Hopefully sooner than later there is a lot more stability that comes within CSA." He rued lack of support (from all quarters) for the coaches and team management.
"I think from a player's point of view, we back our coaches, we need to give them a lot of love. I think sometimes they put in so much work... that's the biggest thing (that goes unnoticed) because I know what they do behind the scenes," he said.
"It's not nice to see our coaches get lambasted for things despite the work they're putting in behind the scenes." Asked how the constant controversies impacts the team environment, Elgar said that the players have a job to do no matter what happens off the field.
"We've been through such crappy times that we've actually formulated such a good bond within our group and for me, it's not an excuse for us. If it happened in the the first month of these bad kind of scenarios, then maybe it might be that but we've been there.
"We've formulated something that works for us as a close group. We have an extremely strong culture which has been tested and pushed to levels that I don't think it will be pushed through in my short term of being captain. I think we've come out on top of it.
"We are a professional team, we focus on cricket and hopefully cricket can look after us," added Elgar.
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SJN Commission finds CSA of unfair discrimination against players on basis of race: Report
Johannesburg, Dec 15 (Cricket News) Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been accused of unfair discrimination against players on the basis of race by the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission, a development which may kick up a storm in the game in the country.
A 235-page final report submitted by the SJN Commission head Dumisa Ntsebeza has accused CSA administration, former captain and current director Graeme Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former batter AB de Villiers of engaging in prejudicial conduct.
According to ESPNcricinfo.com, the report has recommended for the appointment of a permanent ombudsman to deal with race and gender-based complaints in South Africa cricket. The report has also recommended that CSA puts in place an anonymous grievance policy.
The issue came to light after Boucher and former spinner Paul Adams testified that the latter was given a nickname which has racial overtones by his national team-mates, including the current head coach.
The SJN Commission report also concerns about Thami Tsolekile's non-selection for the national side following the retirement of Boucher in 2012.
"The decision of the panel was totally irrational and showed clear signs of systemic racism," the report read, according to ESPNcricinfo.com.
"CSA, Mr Graeme Smith and some selectors at the time really failed Mr Tsolekile and many black players of this time in many ways." It also relates to de Villiers and Khaya Zondo affair among others, when the latter was part of South Africa's ODI squad that toured India in 2015 but not selected in the team when JP Duminy was injured for the final match of the series.
In Zondo's place, Dean Elgar, who was part of the Test squad, played in that match.
Boucher had admitted that he was among those who sang a song which included the slur for which he has already apologised, stating that white players in South Africa were unprepared for the realities of post-Apartheid team dynamics.
Boucher, meanwhile, in a twitter post on his official handle, has supported the probe, saying whatever decisions he took during his career he believed "was in the best interest of the team, never based on anyone's race".
"I support the aims of CSA's Social Justice and Nation Building process, to ensure equal opportunities in cricket," Boucher tweeted.
"However, in my career, I expressed honest cricketing opinions only ever based on what I believed was best for the team., never based on anyone's race. That's the fact." CSA has said that the SJN process, which was initially supposed to last four months but was extended to over six, cost the organisation USD 500,000, but felt it was "both necessary and productive."
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Mayank Agarwal’s ton puts India in a commanding position at the end of day 1 despite Ajaz Patel carnage
(Cricket news) India finished day 1 of the 2nd Test in Mumbai at 221/4. The game started late due to the wet outfield and there were only 2 sessions left after lunch. India announced before the toss that Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja would be unavailable due to injuries. Virat Kohli kept India's toss winning streak going and elected to bat first. Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav came into the side instead of the injured players. The balance of the team didn't change much with India deciding to back Jayant Yadav with the willow instead of replacing Jadeja with a pure batter. Kane Williamson injured his elbow and was replaced by Daryl Mitchell while Tom Latham took over the captaincy.
The openers Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal started aggressively taking on the bowling. Unlike in Kanpur, there was no swing on offer for Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee. Stand-in captain Tom Latham responded quickly by introducing spin in the form of Ajaz Patel. The left arm spinner spun webs around the Indian batters. He got rid of Gill for 44, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli for a duck in the span of 3 overs. The Indian skipper was given out LBW despite the ball having hit the bat with the 3rd umpire judging that there was no conclusive evidence that the ball hit the bat before the ball. Shreyas Iyer walked into bat and stitched a good partnership of 80 with Agarwal. Ajaz Patel returned to dismiss Iyer to pick up his and New Zealand's 4th wicket. Wriddhiman Saha came in and put together a 50 run partnership with Mayank Agarwal who got to his 4th Test century to carry on with his incredible conversion rate.
Ajaz Patel bowled exceptionally well as the conditions were perfect for him. There was a lot of turn and bounce on offer. Patel consistently managed to hit the deck hard on the right lines. The only problem was that the other two spinners weren't effective at all. Rachin Ravindra and Will Sommerville failed to pick up a wicket and were very expensive. Latham was forced to turn to Daryl Mitchell and other seamers to try and keep things tight from one end.
Mayank Agarwal has come back strongly after failing to get going in Kanpur. He was very patient against the fast bowlers not fishing outside the off stump. He was aggressive against spin right from the get go. He played inside out, with the spin and against the spin to score runs. He will start day 2 unbeaten at 120 joined by Saha who is on 25. Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav are next in line if needed.
Wicket Keeping legend and South African head coach Mark Boucher turns 35
(Cricket news) Mark Boucher was one of the finest wicket keepers in the world and was the man South Africa always trusted behind the stumps. Boucher played 467 matches for the Proteas while scoring over 10,000 runs including 5 test centuries and an ODI century. He also hit 26 fifties in ODI and 35 in tests even though he batted at 6.
Boucher made his debut for the national team in 1997 against Pakistan at Sheikhupura. He played 147 test matches for the side which is the second most for the Proteas after
Jacques Kallis who had played 165 matches. His last Test match was in 2012 against New Zealand where he scored 46 in the first innings, he was set to play three more matches in the tour of England until the incident against Somerset. Imran Tahir bowled one to the stumps as the batter missed and the bails hit Boucher’s left eye severely damaging the eyeball which forced him to retire with immediate effect.
Boucher holds the record for most dismissals in test matches with 555 of them in 281 innings, his rough build and short height did not stop him from being very athletic on the field and had one of the most safest hands as dropping catches was not his genes. One of his arch rivals was Adam Gilchrist as both together were in the race for records quite a few times.
Boucher made his ODI debut a year later against New Zealand at Perth along with pacer Makhaya Ntini. Boucher’s most remembered knock will be the 5th ODI in Australia tour of South Africa 15 years ago, he walked at 299-4 as they were chasing a world record score of 435. Boucher hit a half century as four more wickets fell and the team needed 7 runs from the last over which was bowled by speedster Brett Lee. Andrew Hall fell in the third ball as the team needed 2 from three with a wicket to spare, Ntini came in and took a single to give Boucher the strike with as scores were leveled and the keeper hit a four down the ground as the ground witnessed one of the greatest matches ever in the sport.
Boucher went on to play 295 ODI’s and last played in 2011 against Australia, he has the fourth most dismissals in the format with 424 and overall has 998 dismissals in his career with 19 dismissals in T20 internationals. He is the only player to have taken more than 400 catches in Test matches as Boucher has taken 532 of them and is the only wicket keeper to have played more than 140 test matches.
Boucher records still remain unbroken as his feats will not be challenged for a few more years. The 1000 dismissals mark would have been crossed if the incident wouldn't have happened, Boucher played for the team for 14 years and is still a part of the squad as he is now the head coach and taking on various challenges. South Africa could not have asked for a better person as Boucher is not the one to let things go once it's in his hands.
It's a bitter pill to swallow: Boucher on South Africa's T20 exit
Sharjah, Nov 7 (Cricket news) South Africa head coach Mark Boucher says missing out on the semifinals of the T20 World Cup due to an inferior net run rate was a bitter pill to swallow.
South Africa emerged as a strong contender to qualify for the semifinals as the tournament progressed but despite winning four of their five matches, the Proteas failed to make the top four.
In their final group game they defeated Eoin Morgan and Co. by 10 runs which was not enough to seal a top four spot as England and Australia, who also had eight points each, had a better net run rate than the Proteas.
"It's not successful because you're knocked out of the World Cup. It's a bitter pill to swallow" Boucher said at the post match conference.
"I think we played some very good cricket throughout the campaign, cricket under a lot of pressure as well after having lost our first game.
"We put in a lot of hard work in training, our chats were good. I think we beat the in-form side in white-ball cricket for a while now." Having lost the toss and asked to bat, South Africa needed to restrict England below 130 to qualify for the semis but weren't able to do so.
"It's a tough one for the guys in the changing room. We knew what we had to do today, the equation was very difficult for us to have to get through," Boucher said.
"I just said to the guys just try control what we can control. Unfortunately, we can't control what other results are out there. We did the job today but it’s quite bitter." Boucher rued the missed opportunities South Africa could have capitalised on in the games against Australia and Bangladesh.
South Africa had almost defended 118 for 9 in their campaign opener against Australia. It was the only game they lost.
"Well, the first game. The first game was tight. We just didn't bat well enough. It was tough. We lost the toss. We batted first and we weren't 100 percent sure what a good total was because we were the first game to go out there and be played.
"We maybe looked at getting 160 but probably needed about 130, 140 to be competitive. We could have maybe done better there." They had a chance to improve their net run rate against Bangladesh. However, they took 13.3 overs to chase 85. If they had done it inside eight overs, things could have been different.
"Chasing a small total against Bangladesh, people can maybe look at that and said we should have gone a bit harder there, but that wasn't the intention, and we lost three wickets on a wicket that is going all over the shop.
"Unfortunately ifs and buts, they didn't count now." Boucher, however, was happy with the side's good show at the tournament, which he believes will stand them in good stead.
"This team know that is we are on a journey, upward curve, that we are learning along the way. You know, we by no means are a finished product," the 44-year-old said.
"These games will stand us in very good stead because as I said, every game we played was under pressure. That's one thing we probably haven't done very well in the past is playing big games, pressurised games, and we really did well in this particular competition." Flying under the radar by quietly going about their business, South Africa had an impressive tournament. After losing to Australia, they rallied on to defeat Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and the mighty England.
Boucher feels this young Proteas side is a work in progress and is headed in the right direction.
"Yes, it's a young side. We are still developing and hopefully we can go from strength-to-strength from here, take this confidence through, as well," he said.
"It's not something we just arrived at a World Cup and all of the sudden start playing good cricket. We have won a lot of games in the recent time.
"So we are heading in the right direction. We just need a bit of good luck and a bit of fortune to go our way and hopefully we can sort of put something in the trophy cabinet soon."
Also Read : It was bitter-sweet ending for us, says SA skipper Bavuma
News Source : PTI
South Africa can bowl themselves into the semifinals: Morkel
Dubai, Nov 5 (Cricket news) Former pacer Morne Morkel feels South Africa can "bowl themselves" into the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup as their bowlers have the capability to rattle the in-form England top order on Saturday.
For South Africa to seal a semifinal berth, they must win against England by a good margin in their final group match and hope West Indies beat contenders Australia, who currently have superior net run rate to the Proteas.
"The bowling attack is certainly the Proteas' strength and I believe they can bowl us into the semifinals," Morkel wrote in his column for the ICC.
The Proteas have a potent bowling attack, with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje taking care of the pace front, while world no 1 T20 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj will spearhead the spin department.
"It's a must-win game for South Africa against England on Saturday but the West Indies vs Australia is also going to have massive ramifications, with net run-rates potentially coming into play," Morkel said.
"If South Africa's top bowlers can fire, they can really rattle the England top order," he added.
Morkel feels Temba Bavuma and his men have gathered a good understanding of the Sharjah conditions, having eked out a four-wicket win against Sri Lanka there last week, which will help them come Saturday.
"South Africa can beat England. The Sharjah wicket will suit the Proteas and after winning a close game against Sri Lanka they will have a good understanding of conditions." "The battle of the spinners, the Adil Rashid vs Tabraiz Shamsi match-up, is one to watch" Having gone through a revival, the South African squad doesn't boast of superstars like the previous Proteas sides,and hence expectations to win the tournament are low, removing the massive burden of pressure that usually casts a shadow on the team in every ICC tournament.
"I feel that South Africa are flying under the radar this tournament. A lot of people said that without their household names in the XI they didn't stand a chance.
"But they are quietly playing good cricket and have dangerous batters that will step up. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen ,and just look at David Miller the other night against Sri Lanka, hitting two back-to-back sixes to win it." "Mark Boucher is an organised coach and knows how to get the best out of his players when it matters most." Although England are virtually through to the semifinal from Group 1, having won all their four matches, Morkel feels Eoin Morgan and Co can't afford to take the match against South Africa lightly.
"England will not be too relaxed even though they have virtually qualified, I don't think you can afford to be relaxed in this ICC Men's T20 World Cup and flirt with form.
"This has all the ingredients to be one of the games of the tournament."
Also Read : CA formally postpones lone Test against Afghanistan
News Source :PTI
Players picking up bits of information on UAE conditions in IPL will help SA at T20 WC: Boucher
Colombo, Sep 15 (Cricket News) Head coach Mark Boucher hopes South Africa's T20 World Cup bound players can pick up "bits of information" about the UAE conditions during the Indian Premier League which he feels will stand the team in good stead during the marquee ICC event.
The 44-year-old emphasised that the players need to manage themselves during the league so that they can peak at the right time as a unit for South Africa.
"We've spoken to the guys going to the IPL. They need to stay quite disciplined and realise we want to peak at the right time as a unit," Boucher was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'.
"They'll be picking up bits of information about playing in those conditions that will really get them ready for a big tournament and if they manage themselves well and get some good time in the nets and get used to facilities it will stand us in good stead." The IPL, which was suspended midway in May due to multiple cases of COVID-19 in its bio bubble, is scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to October 15.
The T20 World Cup is slated to begin on October 17 in Oman and UAE.
Boucher's comments come in the wake of South Africa's 3-0 T20 series win over Sri Lanka. The Proteas had earlier notched series victories against West Indies and Ireland.
"This team realised that we are definitely not the finished product, so there's a lot of things we speak about," Boucher said.
"We had a good chat about the lessons we've learnt and where we want to go as a team. We tied the record for the most T20 wins by a South African team. That was one of the records that we were playing for.
"We understand that going into a World Cup each game is as important as the others and this becomes a habit. This is just part of the growth of the team," Boucher added.
Also Read : You can never get used to this Indian bowling attack: Dawid Malan
News Source : PTI
Spin to win is the mantra for every team in the T20 World Cup this year
(Cricket news) With the T20 World Cup just on the horizon and most of the teams having announced their squads, a common theme is occurring as the teams are focusing more on spinners than fast bowlers in the 15 member squads. The T20 World Cup shifted from India to UAE and Oman as it has certainly changed the outlook of the selectors as they think that spin to win will be the mantra for success in this year's T20 bonanza. If last year's IPL was any indication, we saw that most of the pitches were dry turning tracks and also in gulf countries the dry humid weather plays a big role in the batting conditions. Let us take a look at the different teams with their different spin options:
For India this department has raised the most number of eyebrows upon the announcement of the T20 World Cup squad as the return of Ravichandran Ashwin instead of seasoned white ball cricketer Chahal has been scrutinised by some experts.This move may actually turn to be a masterstroke as the off spinner has multiple variations including a developing leg break delivery which not only get you wickets in the UAE conditions but also keep the batsmen in check. The spinner that most likely will make the playing eleven is Rahul Chahar, this season in the IPL he is the fourth highest wicket taker with 11 wickets at an economy of 7.21 per over. The main reason the selectors chose him over Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal was because he bowls with a little more pace where the bowl might just skid off the slow turning tracks in UAE causing batsman some problems.The Indian selectors have also gone with Varun Chakravarthy as element of surprise as last year we saw in the IPL that batsman were getting bamboozled with his different variations as he picked up 17 wickets in the process.
Australia too have gone with three full-time spinners with different skill sets. Adam Zampa has been Australia's front line spinner for quite some time but the emergence of Ashton Agar has really helped Australia bolster their spin attack over the last few years. Cricket Australia has also chosen young leg spinner from Queenslander Mitchell Swepson as he really impressed the selectors in the recent tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh. "Mitchell has been impressive with the opportunities he has had. Given the amount of cricket being played at the World Cup venues, we expect the wickets in the UAE to favour slow bowling, particularly in the latter stages, so he gives us another strong leg-spin option” said Chief selector George Bailey.
South Africa were also quick to understand that spin is the way to go as they too have gone with three spin options. T20 no 1 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi will spearhead the spin attack for the Proteas as they have gone with uncapped left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj along with inexperienced spinner Bjorn Fortuin to lead their bowling attack.
Mark Boucher (Chief Selector of South Africa) believes “ If anything, it’s going to go even further into subcontinent conditions, on the extreme side. They are playing the IPL there, there are not a lot of grounds and those wickets are going to be worn, so scores will probably go even further down.” Boucher said batting will be tough on these pitches as spinners will hold the key.
Whereas teams like England and New Zealand have stuck to their strengths and opted to go for more fast bowling. They have both gone with one frontline spinner believing that the pitches will change drastically after the remainder of the IPL is played. Chris Silverwood, said: "We are excited about the prospect of challenging ourselves to win the ICC T20 World Cup. I believe we have selected a squad that covers all bases and has the depth to be successful in what is expected to be a very competitive tournament featuring the best players in the world”.
Also read: England name preliminary squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
It's going to be an interesting watch in this year's biggest T20 tournament as different teams are opting for different strategies but only time will tell us whose gamble will pay off but one thing is certain that the mind games between the nations competing have already begun.
Boucher apologies for singing offensive songs with his teammates
Johannesburg, Aug 23 (Cricket news): Former South Africa wicketkeeper and current head coach Mark Boucher has apologised for being part of the group that sang offensive songs and used nicknames for coloured teammates in his playing days. After he was accused of racism by some of his teammates, including Paul Adams, Boucher submitted a 14-page affidavit to Cricket South Africa's Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) committee, reported ESPNcricinfo.
Adams, in his testimony to SJN, had claimed Boucher was among the teammates who made racial slurs on him in a song. Boucher said he did not give Adams any nickname.
In his response to the allegations, Boucher said he and his teammates should have been more sensitive.
Also read: Chris Silverwood should have asked Joe Root, 'What the hell is going on': Michael Vaughan on bouncer tactic
"I apologise unreservedly for any offensive conduct, real or perceived, that has been attributed to me," Boucher wrote in his affidavit.
"We, the team, coaching staff, selectors and CSA, during the period in question, should have been more sensitive and created an environment where all members of the team could raise and talk about these issues without allowing them to fester, as they clearly have." "...With the benefit of hindsight and maturity, appreciate that I may have said or done things as a young man that offended some of my teammates. For this I apologise sincerely and unreservedly." He also said that he "deeply regrets and apologies for the part I played in joining in with my team-mates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames".
Boucher played 147 Tests and 295 ODIs for South Africa.
News source: PTI
SA coach Mark Boucher fears, IPL will wear out UAE pitches ahead of T20 World Cup
New Delhi, Jul 5 (Cricket news) The remainder of Indian Premier League being held in the United Arab Emirates will hugely affect the pitches, which might get worn out and help the spinners "massively" during ICC T20 World Cup, feels South Africa head coach Maek Boucher.
The 2021 IPL, which was suspended following COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble, will be completed in UAE, which will also host the T20 World Cup after the ICC decided to shift the showpiece event from India due to the unprecedented health crisis.
The second leg of the IPL is scheduled to be held from September 19 to October 15, while the T20 World Cup will begin on October 17.
"The wickets after the IPL are going to be a bit dry. It's not the same as we are used to back in South Africa where you can go out and bash your way to 180 to 200 runs. You've got to be skillful here; you've got to be smart," Boucher was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
"If anything, it's going to go even further into subcontinent conditions, on the extreme side. They are playing the IPL there, there are not a lot of grounds and those wickets are going to be worn, so scores will probably go even further down." Boucher said batting will be tough on this pitches as spinners will hold the key.
"It's going to be tough to bat on especially at the back end as we saw here," said the South African.
"We will have an idea of what scores are going to be by watching the IPL and then taking a look and assess how the wickets are playing during the beginning part of the World Cup.
Also read: Divyaang Cricket Council of India (DCCI) established on the suggestion of the BCCI
"I suspect spinners will play a massive role." Left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi had claimed seven wickets as South Africa won a five-match T20I series against the West Indies 3-2 at the National Cricket Stadium in St George's, Grenada.
News source: PTI
Coach Mark Boucher eager to see how SA performs under pressure to assess progress
Gros Islet (St Lucia), Jun 22 Delighted with South Africa's Test series victory over West Indies, Proteas coach Mark Boucher said he is now eager to see his side perform under more challenging situations to assess their progress.
South Africa defeated West Indies by 158 runs in the second Test on the back of spinner Keshav Maharaj's 5/36, which included a hat trick, to clinch the series 2-0 on Monday.
It is South Africa's first away Tests series win since March 2017.
"It's not a relief. There's been a lot of hard work that's been done behind the scenes," Boucher was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'.
"We were working on quite a few technical things and upskilling our players. We understood the necessity of us performing for the Proteas badge and the guys pulled through and played as a strong team," he added.
Regarded as one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen of all time, Boucher said the team needs to perform under pressure situation.
"I am looking forward to the time where we get put under pressure and to see how we respond as a unit. That's where we can judge where we really are." Once a formidable force, South Africa had slipped to the seventh spot in the ICC Test rankings.
After series defeats against England and Pakistan, opener Dean Elgar took over the Test captaincy from Quinton de Kock.
"The new captain asked a couple of questions about where we are and where we are going and where we want to be. Quite a few honest chats came out there as they do around a South African fire at night.
"The guys all really bought into a process that he wanted to align his reign with. That's where we all stood back and said we are either on the bus or not on the bus. Thankfully everyone decided they were on the bus. And it doesn't only work when you are on the field.
"A lot of effort has to be put in behind closed doors in the way we train, the way we talk, the language, the confidence. That is probably where it started. At that fire," Boucher said.
Ahead of the series, Elgar had called for a return to the "South African" way of playing cricket, which is punctuated by consistent performances, big centuries and five-wicket hauls and the team complied.
"Dean might say its boring, we say it's disciplined cricket. The language he has been speaking is resonating with the players, so good on him for bringing that sort of language," Boucher said.
"This is what Test cricket is all about - being able to absorb pressure in certain stages and then being able to apply. Guys are becoming smarter at choosing those moments." South Africa responded well to the unfamiliar conditions, considering none of the players had played a series in the Caribbean.
"When you have got a young team, the best place for them to learn to play cricket is in foreign conditions. This is how you develop players, in different conditions, and this is how they learn about their games and the slight little adjustments that can make them into world class players." "It's important that we understand there is a process, a long process that you have to keep working at," Boucher said. News source PTI
AB de Villiers still potent force in T20 cricket but he has his reasons of not making comeback: South Africa coach Mark Boucher
Johannesburg, May 19 South Africa head coach Mark Boucher believes AB de Villiers' has his reasons to decide against coming out of international retirement and represent the national team in the upcoming ICC World T20 despite being in good form.
Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced that De Villiers has decided not to come out of international retirement, saying that his mind won't change "once and for all".
His former teammate and current national coach, Boucher gave reasons behind De Villiers' decision, saying that he doesn't want to snatch the place of a player who has been in the mix for a while.
"AB has his reasons, which I respect. Unfortunately he's no longer in the mix. I say unfortunately because I think we all agree that he's still one of the best – if not the best – T20 players in world cricket," Boucher was quoted as saying by 'The Citizen' website "But he alluded to being concerned about coming in ahead of other players who have been a part of the system. I don't think it sat well with him, which I understand.
"But as a coach I needed to try and get our best players, for the team and the environment. AB is an energy-booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth a go, but now let's move forward." CSA's reportedly made the statement on Tuesday while announcing the team for a tour of the West Indies.
In May 2018, De Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket. He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is before announcing his surprise retirement.
However, last month the 37-year-old versatile cricketer said it would be "fantastic" to make an international comeback ahead of the ICC World T20.
The ICC World T20 is scheduled to be held in India in October-November.
"If I can slot in, it will be fantastic," De Villiers had said after he playing match-winning innings for his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the now-suspended IPL in April.
Speaking to the reporters in Chennai, De Villiers had then said he will have a chat with South Africa head coach Mark Boucher at the end of IPL 2021 while assessing his form and fitness after RCB's campaign in the 14th season of the T20 tournament. News Source : PTI
CSA says de Villiers will not come out of international retirement
Johannesburg, May 18 Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced that AB de Villiers won't be coming out of international retirement ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India, saying that he has decided "once and for all" that his mind will not change.
CSA said that "discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final." The statement was reportedly made after CSA announced the team for a tour of the West Indies.
In May 2018, de Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket. He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is before announcing his surprise retirement.
However, last month the 37-year-old versatile cricketer said it would be "fantastic" to make an international comeback ahead of the T20 World Cup.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in October-November.
"If I can slot in, it will be fantastic," de Villiers had said after he playing match-winning innings for his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the now-suspended IPL in April.
Speaking to the reporters in Chennai, de Villiers had then said he will have a chat with South Africa head coach Mark Boucher at the end of IPL 2021 while assessing his form and fitness after RCB's campaign in the 14th season of the T20 tournament. News Source : PTI