South Africa’s next coach: Kevin Pietersen backs Mark Boucher as best candidate to replace Ottis Gibson
Par for the course: Kevin Pietersen feels Mark Boucher should coach South Africa. © AFP

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes that Mark Boucher is the man to coach the South African cricket team during a difficult period.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Sunday removed Ottis Gibson as head coach of South Africa, opting not to renew the West Indian’s contract after the team finished seventh at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Earlier this year, Gibson revealed that it is written in his CSA contract that he had to win South Africa the World Cup to keep his job.

Under the former West Indies pace bowler’s guidance, South Africa lost just one Test series while beating India, Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In ODIs, South Africa beat Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia and lost only to India.

(READ: World Cup review: Big guns misfire as South Africa come a cropper)

But after a disastrous World Cup campaign in England, Gibson did not have his contract renewed by CSA.

Also not getting contract renewals are Malibongwe Maketa (assistant coach), Dale Benkenstein (batting coach), Justin Ontong (fielding coach) and Claude Henderson (spin bowling coach).

Until CSA can identify Gibson’s replacement, Corrie van Zyl has been named as acting Director of Cricket. Among van Zyl’s immediate tasks is to put together a coaching staff to take South Africa to India in September for three T20Is, followed by three Tests in October.

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In Pietersen’s view, record-setting Test wicketkeeper Boucher is the man CSA should turn to.

“Cricket South Africa sack Otis Gibson & his whole backroom staff. There is only ONE man who can turn their cricket around – @markb46! ” Pietersen wrote on Twitter. “He has trophies, he s respected around the world & he s an absolute beaut of a human! “Do the right thing, Corrie Van Zyl!”

Boucher is the most successful Test wicketkeeper of all time, having claimed a record 55 dismissals (532 catches, 23 stumpings) from 147 matches. Since being forced to retire after injuring an eye during a series in England, Boucher has turned to coaching at the domestic level.

Since he took over as head coach of Titans three years ago, Boucher has overseen five domestic titles: two One Day Cups, two T20 Challenge titles and one four-day Sunfoil Series trophy.