Boucher plays down T20 Challenge success

MULTIPLY TITANS coach Mark Boucher believes a lot of work still lies ahead in his new job despite winning his first trophy within five months of his appointment.

The former Proteas wicketkeeper led the Eastern Titans franchise to the T20 Challenge title on Friday when they beat the Warriors by six runs in a tense final at SuperSport Park in Centurion. It handed the 40-year-old his first trophy, but a modest Boucher insisted that his role was more than just about winning silverware.

“A lot of people may say it’s a dream start because of the results and because of the trophy, but I don’t like to look at things like that,” he said. “I still feel there’s a lot of work we can put into this whole set-up and that’s what we’ll continue striving to do.

“But it is nice to win a trophy and it is a nice start for me, it takes the pressure off a bit. A lot of hard work still lies ahead.”

Victory enabled the Titans to defend the title they won 12 months ago, while they are also strongly placed to challenge for Sunfoil Series honours – they currently top the standings after five rounds of the campaign.

“We have a very good team here, I’ve just got to make sure I'm creating the right environment for them to play in and the rest will take care of itself,” Boucher said. “There’s still a long season ahead and we’ll enjoy this, but the focus immediately shifts to the Sunfoil Series after that.”

Their next assignment is a four-day one against the VKB Knights in Bloemfontein starting on January 5.

The Titans also hold that title and will be looking for an unprecedented treble in 2016/17.

“If we can have another good month of January and early February, then maybe we can get another trophy in the cabinet,” Boucher added. “Then who knows, maybe we can pick up three, but let’s take it as it comes. Next up is the Sunfoil Series and that will be the focus going forward into the new year.”

Captain Albie Morkel was also thrilled with the win, despite only playing for a little over half the game.

The veteran all-rounder hurt his left hamstring while bowling the first over of the Warriors’ chase, forcing him to leave the field and hand over the captaincy to David Wiese.

But they managed to pull through, which was extremely satisfying for Morkel. “I think it’s awesome (to defend the title),” he said. “It’s what you train for as a professional cricketer, you want to be part of big moments and big days like this, whether it’s domestic cricket or international cricket, you always play for finals.

“We’ve put in some really hard work this season and I'm just happy we could finish it off.”