Mark Boucher, the South African wicket keeper, is set to appear before a disciplinary board after recent remarks he made in a newspaper article regarding the exclusion of Jaques Kallis from the T20 squad. Upon his exclusion Kallis resigned as vice captain and questioned his future in the national team.
Bouchers remarks in the Business Day allude to non cricketing reasons behind Kallis omission from the squad.
It is either those who have an issue with him, and have a chip on their shoulders, or those who have ulterior motives.”
“He’s the best allrounder we’ve ever had and he’s saved more [limited overs] games than anyone realises – and he is a far better one-day player than he is given credit for.”
Boucher will appear at a hearing on Friday.
Taking into account the reasoning by the selectors, at least in public anyway, for Kallis omission, that they want him rested for the long, tough, season ahead, it is worth considering a few points. Firstly Pakistan, India and New Zealand have not included their best Test batsmen either. Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Mohammed Yusuf and Stephen Fleming have all been left out of their squads and been given an extended break in order to get more from them in Test and ODI cricket in the coming season. There is also a case for Flemings exclusion on the basis that it allows a more comfortable transition of the captaincy to Vettori. Yet none of these other players have put up a fuss (Pakistans Abul Razzaq criticized his omission but it appears that he is being dropped and not rested.) If Kallis is being rested due to the heavy workload he carries within the test and ODI teams, then why aren’t Pollock and Ntini being afforded the same break? Clearly Kallis wanted to be involved so its not a case of a player opting out or being happy with a few more weeks of golf. If the argument was that Kallis is not suited to T20 cricket then what of Ntini? He doesn’t offer anything with that bat and has bowled 30 balls in international T20 games and gone for 65 runs without taking a wicket. A record that suggests that he shouldn’t be in the squad. Ntini has carried the Test and ODI attack for a couple of seasons now and perhaps his lack of form at the World Cup was because of to much cricket. Perhaps he to should have been rested. While it may be seen to most as a childish reaction by Kallis, and perhaps it is, it’s still not a bad thing to have a player so upset about being left out, even when assured he isn’t be dropped. A player who has scored over 8000 Test runs, over 9000 ODI runs and has taken over 200 wickets in Test and ODI cricket who has nothing to prove to anyone yet still gets this upset about not being selected for the least serious, least important form of the game? Surely that cant be the worst thing.
By all accounts Kallis lead the team in Ireland admirably, especially with his dealing with the young players, Philander, Duminy and Tshabalala, both on and off the field, so there is a strong desire to retain him as vice captain. Lets hope that happens.