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Cricket news - Mark Boucher set to be named South Africa's team director

Boucher's appointment is set to be confirmed by Graeme Smith on Saturday

Boucher's appointment is set to be confirmed by Graeme Smith on Saturday

Mark Boucher will be confirmed as South Africa men's team director on Saturday, Cricbuzz has learnt. The decision will be welcomed in some quarters, but others will greet it as a blow to racial transformation.

The former wicketkeeper-batter is set to be unveiled by his former Test captain, Graeme Smith, at the latter's first press conference in his new role as Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting director of cricket.

Boucher will succeed Enoch Nkwe, who took South Africa to India in September and presided over a drawn T20I series but saw his team hammered 3-0 in the Tests.

Since August 2016, Boucher has coached the Titans, who have won a first-class title and two one-day and T20 trophies under him. Nkwe won the 2018-19 first-class and T20 championships as the Highveld Lions coach, and guided the Jozi Stars to triumph in the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League last year. Nkwe is expected to be named Boucher's assistant with Jacques Kallis set to come on board as a batting consultant.

There would seem to be little to choose between Boucher and Nkwe in terms of their coaching achievements, which will make many South Africans wonder if Boucher, who is white, has been unfairly elevated above Nkwe, who isn't.

Others will defend appointing Boucher with the fact that he played 147 Tests, 295 one-day internationals and 25 T20Is for South Africa. Nkwe scored a century in his debut first-class innings but his career was hampered by injury and he never played at the highest level.

Smith's appointment, which is for three months, was announced on Wednesday and has been heralded as the first step towards South Africa's recovery from a slew of problems on and off the field.

A poor World Cup, where they won only three of their eight completed games and were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, was followed by the tour to India. Boucher's first challenge will be a series of four Tests against England that starts at Centurion on December 26.

CSA's board are facing calls for their resignation or removal over governance issues. Last Friday, chief executive Thabang Moroe became the seventh staff member to be suspended, and four board members have resigned.

The eight remaining members of the board were summoned to a meeting by Nathi Mthethwa, the minister of sport, in Pretoria on Thursday.

Matters could come to a head at an urgent meeting of CSA's board and their members council - the organisation's highest authority - in Paarl on Monday.

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