Mark Boucher: South Africa name ex-Test wicketkeeper as head coach until 2023

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Mark Boucher (right) played in 147 Tests for South Africa, many of them alongside acting director of cricket Graeme Smith (left)

Former Test wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has been named as South Africa’s new head coach on a four-year deal.

The 43-year-old replaces Enoch Nkwe, who was interim team director after head coach Ottis Gibson was released in August and is now the assistant coach.

The appointment comes three days after former Test captain Graeme Smith was named acting director of cricket.

“I feel Mark will bring the toughness to turn an inexperienced squad into a battle-ready outfit,” Smith said.

Boucher’s tenure begins with a four-match Test series against England, which starts on 26 December in Centurion.

Faf du Plessis was also confirmed as the Proteas’ Test captain.

Cricket South Africa is going through a difficult period, with chief executive Thabang Moroe currently suspended after allegations of misconduct.

Smith will take charge until the Indian Premier League starts in March while Boucher’s contract runs until the end of the next World Cup in 2023.

He played in 147 Tests and 295 one-day internationals, many of them alongside Smith, before retiring in 2012 because of an eye injury.

“With his experience of a long career as an international cricketer, he has first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed in the Test arena,” Smith added.

“I have the highest regard for Enoch as well and I want to create a clear path for him to grow into a top international coach.

“At the same time there is a clear need to maintain continuity and stability in the Proteas management team.”

Volvo Masubelele will remain as team manager and Justin Ontong as fielding coach, while Smith said he will announce new batting and bowling consultants “in the next couple of days”.