Four day prize ices Boucher’s cake


Mark Boucher says winning his maiden Sunfoil Series crown this season was what he was most proud about as he looked back on a second consecutive successful campaign with the Titans.

In his inaugural term as coach last year, the former Proteas wicketkeeper led the Centurion-based franchise to the limited-overs double – they won the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge and also the Momentum One-Day Cup.

The 2017/18 campaign saw them defend that 20-over crown and pair it alongside the four-day title in their trophy cabinet.

“I’m very proud of the guys, especially with the way they won this last trophy,” Boucher said. “It’s the one we really had to work hard for.

“We had a lot of guys that were Titans players who were then drafted into the Proteas set-up along the way. I’m talking about the four or five guys that didn’t play for us for a lot of the season.

“When a nationally contracted player goes you expect to lose him, but you don’t expect to lose five of your franchise contracted players. “To have coped a lot without them through the youngsters that stepped up was extremely pleasing.

“And it’s one of the big positives we can take out of the campaign.”

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Boucher, who has now won four trophies in two seasons, believes winning the Sunfoil Series trophy is what really tests the players and he praised them for the persistence they showed in the competition.

“It’s very nice for me as a coach to have won four trophies, but I think more credit has got to go to the players and everyone else at the franchise,” he explained. “You can coach as much as you like, but ultimately they are the ones that have to do the business once you get on to the field.

“Especially now in this last competition, they are the ones that gelled together as a team. We’ve just got to try and give them the right tools to do that. That’s what they’ve done and the results are there to see.

“I’m very happy to have won the two trophies. The first one was in the big T20 competition where you get good crowds and people coming out to support you.

“This second one happens in empty stadiums, where it’s hot, there’s a lot of hard work and graft, which people don’t see. Winning this last competition, where there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes, I’m extremely chuffed about that.”

Boucher maintains that the Titans can still get better as a franchise and he personally as a coach. He added: “I still think I can do a lot better as a coach. I think you’ve got to be realistic about it: we’ve got a very good culture at the Titans. We’re led very well by our CEO, and the people around him are all doing a fantastic job.

“We’re going in the right direction as a franchise and I think that’s one of the reasons why we have good players as well. It has left the depth and the pipeline in a very good position.”