Boucher caught coaching bug at Kolkata

Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher is looking forward to his new coaching job at the Titans, and says his experience at Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL convinced him to give coaching a real go.

Boucher retired four years ago after picking up a career-ending eye injury in England, and since then has been involved in the media and with rhino conservation. He went to Kolkata this year to help the side at the request of best friend Jacques Kallis, the team mentor.

Boucher’s appointment as head coach at the Titans, one of the country’s top sides, raised a few eyebrows because of his lack of experience, though he is studying for his qualifications and is eager to face the challenge.

Boucher said on Cricinfo: “I wanted a few years off and I did that with the rhinos stuff. After that I wanted to be able to give back to the game.

“I suppose I never completely [went away] because I was always involved in some commentary or this and that. But I got to the point where I felt I needed a challenge in my life.

“The KKR thing pushed me to try and get into coaching.”

He admitted he knew that people would be skeptical of his chances: “I can’t be worried about what people are writing. I would never have taken the job if I didn’t think I could add value.

“I am a completely different person now to what I was as a player. I was quite feisty and hard, but that’s the way I thought I had to be. When you are playing, you pick a road and go with it if you think it will get the best out of you.

“The eye injury really changed me. It knocked the wind out of my sails. I will always have that competitive edge, but I don’t think I will be so aggressive as a coach.

“The new styles of coaching are all about building up confidence.”

He added: “It might not be as aggressive as what people will expect but I will still go at it as I see it. It’s all about man-management.

“Jet [Ray Jennings] was good for me because he was hard and that was what I needed, but I’m not going to say that was the right way or Gary Kirsten’s way was the right way.

“Some players need some love and some players need to be told when they are stepping out of line.”