Mark Boucher is free to continue as South Africa’s head coach after charges of gross misconduct and racism were “formally and unreservedly withdrawn”.
Cricket South Africa laid the charges against Boucher following allegations involving his former Proteas team-mate Paul Adams and an investigation into the resignation of his former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe, with a hearing due on May 16.
But both Adams and Nkwe opted against giving testimony, leaving CSA to conclude that “there is no basis to sustain any of the disciplinary charges”.
The claims against Boucher originated in a report from the country’s independent social justice and nation-building ombudsman (SJN) released late last year. The document made ‘tentative findings’ against Boucher but indicated a firmer conclusion could not be achieved without additional formal steps.
A statement from CSA revealed that Adams had withdrawn from the process, citing concerns about the wider culture rather than Boucher alone, and that the former spin bowler had accepted an apology from Boucher.
Nkwe, who resigned as Boucher’s assistant last summer, also declined to offer evidence.
A statement from Boucher said: “I welcome the decision of CSA to unreservedly withdraw all charges against me. The allegations of racism which were levelled against me were unjustified and have caused me considerable hurt and anguish.
“The last few months have been extremely difficult to endure for me and my family. I am glad that the process has finally come to an end and that CSA has accepted that the charges against me are unsustainable.”
Pholetsi Moseki, chief executive of CSA, added: “CSA appreciates that it has been very difficult for Mark to deal with these charges hanging over his head over the last few months. CSA regrets this.“CSA is also appreciative of the fact that Mark has at all times conducted himself properly and professionally – refusing to be drawn into public debates about the charges and carrying out his duties with commitment and dedication.
“The performance of the Proteas men’s team over this period has been extremely impressive, particularly in the Test arena, and this speaks to the efforts of Mark, his support staff and the players.”
“We reiterate that Mark Boucher, Paul Adams and Enoch Nkwe all remain valued members of the CSA coaching fraternity.”
South Africa are next in action with a T20 trip to India in June, followed by a three-format tour of England between July and September.