CSA Graeme Smith Mark Boucher 1

Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher. Photo: Getty Images

BLUNDER: CSA retract line suggesting Boucher, Smith are suspended

Cricket South Africa have clarified that a headline stating ‘CSA suspends Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith’ has been retracted.

CSA Graeme Smith Mark Boucher 1

Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher. Photo: Getty Images

In a dramatic statement released on Thursday, CSA confirmed that Boucher had been charged with ‘gross misconduct’.  This comes after former national spinner Paul Adams implicated Boucher in a racial incident when the two were teammates, alleging that the former wicket-keeper was part of a group who called him a “brown sh*t”.

“This follows December’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report, which made tentative findings regarding allegations of discrimination and racism against various persons, including Mr Boucher. Specifically, during the SJN process, allegations of racism were levelled against Mr Boucher by his former Proteas teammate, Paul Adams,” a statement read.

CSA also confirmed that a charge sheet, containing both the disciplinary charges against Boucher, as well as his rights, was provided to him on 17 January. The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.

While Boucher is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal, CSA emphasised it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.

However, there was real confusion when a press release was initially sent out suggesting Boucher and Smith had been suspended, only for this to be retracted, and a statement with a different headline was then disseminated.

After a couple of years in the job, it’s fair to say that Boucher has failed to convince many that he is the right man for the role at the helm of the Proteas team.


For quite some time, the side has looked to be lacking a clear identity, and results have been largely and frustratingly inconsistent.

Towards the end of last year, it was confirmed that CSA was set to start formal enquiries into the conduct of director of cricket Graeme Smith and Boucher after the release of the SJN report.

Part of the findings (which are available on the CSA website) revealed that the Ombudsman found the appointments of Smith and Boucher to be “flawed from a procedural perspective”.

The formal inquiries were expected to place early in 2022, and to investigate the conduct of the former Proteas legends. The Ombudsman’s Report included findings that Smith and Boucher had acted in a prejudicial or discriminatory manner.


Boucher appointment has been questioned

The fact remains that no matter whether the Proteas have turned a corner after recent results, there will need to be some legitimate answers provided to lingering questions.

When it came to Boucher’s appointment as head coach of Proteas prior to the start of the series with England in December 2019, the SJN reports states “it is clear Mr Smith did not follow any CSA policy in appointing Mr Boucher”.

Nkwe, who had been interim ‘Team Director’ in 2019 before Boucher’s appointment, was overlooked for the position, and the report contends that race played a determining factor in the decision making.

“Did Mr. Smith and CSA differentiate between black and white coaches when they appointed Mr Boucher to the head coach position? The answer to the question is in the affirmative.”

It further states that CSA “undermined its own transformation imperative in permitting the appointment of Mr Boucher ahead of Mr Nkwe.”

“Mr Nkwe’s resignation should not really come as a surprise to CSA,” the report also asserts in reference to the Proteas assistant coach stepping down in August this year after citing concerns about the team environment and culture.

In response to the SJN report, CSA’s Board agrees wholeheartedly that the issues facing cricket “are a complex interaction of multiple factors stemming from the history of this country and consequent socio-economic factors that prevail today.”

The CSA Board also thanked the Ombudsman for his insights and recommendations and will engage with the report further in the new year.

The Ombudsman’s process was initially due to last four months but was later extended to over six months at the Ombudsman’s request. CSA made available extensive legal and other resources to this Ombudsman for this process, including spending more than R7.5 million on the process, despite an initial budget of R5 million.

He also raised concerns over an “exclusionary culture” in certain incidents in the past when it came to selection of black players.