Sri Lanka in SA

Jet: Back off Boucher-haters

2011-12-19 21:51
Ray Jennings (File)
Cape Town - Former South African coach and wicketkeeper Ray "Jet" Jennings has backed Mark Boucher to remain the Proteas' No 1 wicketkeeper for a long period.

GALLERY: 2011 in review

Boucher has received his fair share of criticism of late after struggling with the bat in 2011.

However, he came good in the recent Test against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park, scoring 65 and notched up another world record by becoming the only wicketkeeper to score a Test match half-century and make six dismissals in an innings in the same match for the second time.

He previously accomplished the feat against Pakistan at St George’s Park in 1998 in what was only his fourth Test match.

And Jennings is convinced that the 35-year-old can be South Africa's main gloveman for a while to come.

"There's still no wicketkeeper in this country that comes close to Boucher - and with the energy and dedication he sends out - he will be the No 1 for a long period," Jennings told the Beeld newspaper.

Jennings says all Boucher's records aren't that important, but rather his hunger for success. "So many older players lose that motivation and willpower to still be the best, but I worked with him a month ago and he still has that drive and enthusiasm.

"Therefore, I believe all the Boucher-haters, who so dearly want to get rid of him, should get off his back.

"They should only get rid of Boucher once there's someone coming through that's better than him. Until then he is by far the best in the country and there shouldn't even be a debate," said Jennings.

This comes after former Proteas spinner and a team-mate of Boucher, Pat Symcox, also stood up for the record-breaking wicketkeeper.

Symcox used Twitter to announce his continued approval for Boucher in the national side: Boucher’s contribution significant again. Those who think his time is up are wrong.

“There is no-one better right now,” Symcox tweeted on Saturday.

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