South African coach Mark Boucher in a online press conference ahead of their England tour spoke candidly about the issues South African team has been facing since last time the Protean team stepped on the field for a match before the pandemic hit the globe. Mark himself spoke that even he didn’t realize when he contracted the COVID-19 virus. He said that he had gone down to throw down some balls to the players and he felt weakness and his arm felt heavy. He thought it might have been due to long break. But he added that it’s not about him right now as he was lucky enough to have all the facilities to his disposal.
He then also said that South Africa is going through a lot of trouble outside of the cricketing field. He agreed that it is no secret that the issues have made news all over the world. With racial issues within the Board, the entire members council resigning which is considered as the top cricketing body in the country. After the wake of BLM protests in the US, tensions which were building within the board for unresolved racial injustices got momentum and exploded. CSA also fired chief executive Thabang Moroe for major misconduct.
CSA on Wednesday released statement that one of the 24 member squad has been tested positive for COVID-19 and two other players who were in close contact with that player have been put under isolation. The names have not been released for medical confidentiality. Boucher says that he hopes that all the players hopefully end on the right side of this. He added that they were prepared for this and have called Marco Marais and Stefan Tait for the inter squad matches on Saturday.
He also praised the support staff for having good consultation service during these times, players are having group chats which definitely helped everyone mentally. He says that off the field everything that can be done for players has been done by the management, now it is all about performing on the field.
After the BLM protests, this is the first time South African team will be taking on the field. The players are going to take a knee for many years of racial oppression. The players did it in the 3TC game back in July at Centurion.
When asked about the rumours of AB de Villiers coming back, Boucher says that he will be of course a great add to the team but why not ask AB himself about this.
South Africa will kick off their English tour on the 27th November.