Why Smith chose Boucher before Nkwe for the Proteas: The Citizen work

An independent arbitration panel, while criticizing the trial as far from perfect, found the now former Cricket South Africa cricket director Graeme Smith was not guilty of any unfair racial discrimination in his appointment of Mark Boucher as manager. of the Proteas before Enoch Nkwe.

CSA, based on the “provisional” findings of their Social Justice and Nation Building Report, claimed that Smith had shown racial prejudice against Nkwe, who was the Proteas interim manager when the former national team captain took over. the post of director of cricket in December 2019

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But the referees, lawyers Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop, cleared Smith of all racism and instructed CSA to pay its costs for the entire arbitration.

Smith explained why he chose Boucher at the hearing, starting with his impression of the Proteas team under Nkwe and Captain Faf du Plessis on their disastrous tour of India in 2019, for which he was one of the TV commentators.

Smith described the Proteas as “rudderless”, their performance was “very out of the ordinary” and there were “a lot of inside fights on the pitch between the players”.

He told the referees that his take on the manager’s situation would have been different if the Proteas were a more experienced team with a captain who would be around for the next 10 years.

‘High pressure position’

“I felt I needed a character who could handle… an extremely pressurized position, you’re in the cold [sic] face of the world media, the … crowds. … I felt that the team at the time needed someone who had extensive … experience in dealing with conditions, with the pressures that come with international play. I knew this team was going to lose a lot early, it would take some time to build, “Smith said at the hearing.

The referees felt that Smith had made it clear to the CSA that Boucher would be his appointment as the new manager, there were no objections from the CSA and no suggestion from them that this was unfair to Nkwe. The then chairman of the board, Chris Nenzani, told Smith he had the authority to appoint coaches and CSA never insisted on proper trials.

Long-term appointments

There was also a time factor as Smith could only take appointments on 11 December 2019 after he was made director of cricket, and the series of tests against England began on 26 December, with the Proteas due to reunite 8- 10 days before.

The arbitrators felt that the CSA directive was about long-term, not interim appointments, and that it was their “inaction and delays that put Smith under the pressure”.

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CSA’s claim that Boucher should never have been named national team manager because he doesn’t have a level 4 coaching certificate, while Nkwe does what he stood naked in front of the referees when it was pointed out that CSA was happy to appoint both Gary Kirsten and Ottis Gibson as the Proteas head coach when neither of them had a level 4 qualification.