Management interviewed just one candidate for the position
The time has come for me to give back to the game. This was the response of former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher as he was announced as the new coach of the Titans yesterday. The ex-Protea, 39, was forced to retirement as a player in 2012 after sustaining a serious eye injury after being struck by a bail in a tour match in Somerset‚ England.
After a four-year break from active involvement in the game‚ aside from television commentary‚ Boucher was named the replacement for Rob Walter at the Titans.
Walter begins a new chapter as head coach of Otago in New Zealand on September 1‚ while Boucher will be hoping to continue where the former Titans coach left off at the Centurion-based side.
The Titans enjoyed a successful spell under Walter, culminating in two trophies – the Ram Slam Twenty20 and Sunfoil Series titles – in 2015-16.
“It is an honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to try something new in my career‚” Boucher said.
“Obviously, I have never been coach before‚ so it is a challenge‚ personally.
“Coming to the Titans setup‚ I do understand they are a successful franchise‚ with a lot of fantastic players and a lot of Proteas players.
“Taking over from a guy like Rob Walter‚ who has done a fantastic job‚ is going to be something I’ll be excited about and hopefully will enjoy.
“The guys I had played with in the Proteas setup said this was the home of cricket in South Africa‚ so I’m looking forward to coaching here.”
The Titans‚ despite having cast their net far and wide for a replacement for Walter‚ were satisfied with shortlisting only Boucher for the job.
“Unfortunately‚ I cannot mention names as some are still employed [elsewhere]‚” Titans chief executive Jacques Faul said of the candidates who applied for the post.
“We considered all applications and the committee ended up with a short list.
“We interviewed one applicant [Boucher] and we were satisfied.”
What were the Titans looking for in the man to take the provincial side forward after Walter’s successful tenure?
“We were looking for somebody that looks credible standing in front of a squad that has done well in the past – that is important to us‚” Faul said.
“I don’t think you get the complete person that has done all his [coaching] levels‚ coached for 20 years and played for 20 years.
“Mark has the cricket side behind him. We have a programme to develop him as a manager and coach.
“We think he is definitely a natural leader and he is what the squad needs at this stage.”