The relationship between new Cricket South Africa director of cricket Enoch Nkwe and Proteas head coach Mark Bushehr has been an obvious point of contention ever since the former assistant coach of the national team took over the top administrative position, but Nkwe himself assured on Friday that they were keen to get “the best from each other.”
Nkwe resigned as South African assistant coach last August after expressing concerns about team culture and said he had not seen Boucher since.
During the period that Boucher was under CSA disciplinary proceedings, much attention was paid to Nkwe’s exit from the Proteas and he was expected to testify against his former boss. Nkwe refused to do so, and now the roles have been reversed, with Boucher reporting to him.
The new cricket director said he had a meeting with Boucher and the Proteas team on the Thursday before they left for England.
“At first it was a little strange because we hadn’t spoken in person since August, but it ended up being a great meeting,” Nkwe said at an introductory press conference at CSA headquarters on Friday.
“I know there was a lot of talk about deeper issues, but it was nothing personal and Mark and I have a good relationship. The meeting ended with our laughter, and I know that he is also happy to work with me.
“Now we feel we are in a better position to get the most out of each other. I’m glad we were able to meet in person before they left for England and we all left with smiles after 40 minutes,” he added.
“Now there is a lot more clarity between us and just because I’m director of cricket doesn’t mean I’m director of Proteas. I am the director of cricket in general. Mark and the management of the team are in very good condition.”
In addition to the team being in good spirits, Nkwe said he was also impressed with the atmosphere, which has improved since he was last with the Proteas.
“I felt the positive energy and also how the team interacted with the (CSA) board,” he said.
“It has actually been a great week for South African cricket and it is important that we rebuild our positive image.
“This is part of my 18 month plan and I will give my best support to the national coaches to allow the head coach to focus on his role because he has so much to do.
“Yesterday, at the beginning of the meeting with the team, there was a rather emotional moment. This role is very close to my heart, this is what I aspired to. This is a huge honor and privilege.
“This is a position where I can really change South African cricket, which I am very passionate about. There will be a lot of pressure, but pressure is a privilege.”