Faf du Plessis Claims Broken Relationship with Mark Boucher & Graeme Smith Pushed Him into Oblivion
Former South African men’s cricket captain, Faf du Plessis has claimed that a breakdown in his relationship with coach Mark Boucher, and national selector, Graeme Smith, led to his retirement.
In their autobiography, Faf: Through Fire, he said that both Mark Boucher & Graeme Smith, former director, and selector, did not communicate with him when he was available for selection for the T20 team in February 2021.
He mentions that began a smooth transition, in the shadow of his best friend AB de Villiers. Though he is proud of all his achievements and heartaches, his exit has proved to be the most painful because of the lack of soft skills from Cricket South Africa (CSA).
In the chapter, “The Ghosts of Insecurity”, he mentions his final phase in South African cricket. This is was when Boucher took over for a series for England in December 2019. He was not adequately backed by Mark Boucher during the media conferences.
He made a remark against the black cricketers being dropped from the side that caught unwanted media coverage. He felt that during this storm, they should have backed him. But both Boucher & Smith did not do that, which set the tone for the rest of their relationship.
Then on, there was a massive breakdown in the communication with Mark Boucher. Mark suggested that Faf step down as the captain of the team in all the formats, despite Faf making it clear he is available for play.
He became sad when he noticed that Mark Boucher was becoming very close to Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock. He says that “dealing with CSA during this time was like being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value you as much as you value them. That complicated matters and I had to work much harder than should have been necessary to get them to communicate efficiently.”
He mentions that he also played with Graeme, Jacques Kallis, and AB Villers who all did not want to bat in the dark. But Faf du Plessis wanted to play in the T20 team for his side. However, he was never contacted by the coach or the nation selector.
Faf Du Plessis felt that the number of matches will be “enough to cover all my financial commitments.” That is why he wanted a “formal offer that would enable me to play in fewer leagues”.
Faf also insists that “dealing with CSA during this time was like being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value you as much as you value them. That complicated matters and I had to work much harder than should have been necessary to get them to communicate efficiently.”
“Their actions made it easier for me to accept that going to the World Cup was not meant to be.” For now, he plays for most of the major leagues in the world, including the IPL. The CSA is yet to comment on this development, and will reserve comment until it has been through it.