Boucher faces charges for criticism

Updated on Aug 16, 2007 11:44 AM IST

Supporting Jacques Kallis' move to resign from vice-captaincy, the South African keeper had criticised the selectors' decision.

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PTI | By, Durban

The controversy over the omission of Jacques Kallis from the South African squad for the Twenty20 world championship took a new turn on Wednesday with wicketkeeper Mark Boucher being ordered to appear before a disciplinary hearing after he criticised the selectors' decision.

Cricket South Africa said in a statement that Boucher had breached its rules and code of conduct.

General Manager of Cricket Operations Brian Basson said Boucher's actions were detrimental to the game of cricket, particularly South African cricket.

In his interview to a Johannesburg newspaper, Boucher supported Kallis, who resigned as vice-captain of the national side, after being dropped from the Twenty20 team. Kallis had also said he would reconsider his future as part of the South African cricket set-up.

Boucher had alleged that the decision was prompted by a motive to marginalise Kallis as he was a far better one-day player than he was given credit for.

"He's the best all-rounder 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."

"It is either those who have an issue with him, and have a chip on their shoulders, or those who have ulterior motives," he said.

Boucher did not elaborate on what he thought the motives might be, amid speculation that Kallis was left out to make way for more players of colour.

According to CSA, Boucher would have to attend a hearing on Friday on five counts of breaching the body's rules and code of conduct.

It announced that Boucher would be charged under clauses relating to "unbecoming or detrimental conduct", making comments detrimental to the game, to a particular tournament or match, and critical of the selection of a team.

Boucher also rubbished recent allegations about excessive drinking in the team and the existence of a senior players' coterie.

"In my off-season I have been doing some building on my house and reading about my being an alcoholic," he said. "I see pictures of myself and Herschelle (Gibbs) sitting at a pool-side bar and the accompanying article talks about how drinking is out of hand. It's all ridiculous."

"Who do we want running things, the senior players or the junior players?" he asked. It's a good sign if the guys are getting together to discuss things - five heads are better than one'."

Boucher has been picked in the Twenty20 world championship squad but is not too enthusiastic about the tournament, to be hosted by South Africa next month.

"First prize for those of us who love cricket is to be Test world champions. Second prize is to be 50-over world champions. Twenty20 only comes after those, really," he said.

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