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Boucher wants Kallis to return in consultancy role for South Africa
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Boucher wants Kallis to return in consultancy role for South Africa

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has expressed his eagerness to bring back batting legend Jacques Kallis in the team's coaching set-up.

Kallis recently took upon the batting consultant role with England on a short-term contract as he is currently with the Joe Root-led squad in Sri Lanka.

Despite Kallis' appointment in the England cricketing system, Boucher is keen on having his longtime friend in South Africa's backroom staff as early as the unconfirmed Test series against Australia in February.

Kallis' exit from the Proteas set-up predates Cricket South Africa's policy regarding affirmative action while hiring consultants for the team.

Kallis, who is his country's all-time leading Test run-scorer, was with South Africa for their home series against England in 2019/20.

However, CSA has shown leniency in their rigid stance against roping in white consultants in abundance as interim board member Judith February suggested a deceleration in the pace of the organisation's racial transformation strategy.

Boucher admitted to not being fully aware of the state of CSA's exact transformation issue at the moment but said the decision to not allow former white players as consultants was “a bit of a pill to swallow".

“The media have been saying he’s my mate and it’s a buddy selection,” Boucher said of Kallis, who was part of South Africa's previous trip to Pakistan in 2007.

“Yes, he is a mate of a mine but he’s also a very good cricketer and he can add a lot of knowledge as well, so why wouldn’t we want him back in our set-up?

“Now that it’s been documented in the press that the rules have been changed a bit, he is certainly someone we would like to get back in a consultancy role. I haven’t had any major conversations with Jacques because he is in Sri Lanka now but certainly in the next short period of time, if we can get him involved soon, maybe against Australia, then we must.

“There are a lot of players who have spoken highly of Jacques and the knowledge that he imparted to them. So, yes, he is on my radar. I just hope we treat him with care. He’s shown that he’s got a lot of other opportunities in world cricket so it would be stupid not to try to hang on to him, as long as we don’t mess him around. I know Jacques would love to be working in South African cricket.”

Meanwhile, Kallis spoke to the press in Galle and did not hide his disappointment at being let go by the South African authorities amidst the backdrop of the tenuous racial context.

"It's the times we're in. There are many other coaches who have gone on to coach other teams –- Gary Kirsten, for example. It's the modern way of the world," he said.

"It's sad in a way that I can't help out in South Africa but I'm thoroughly enjoying my time here in the England set-up."