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Steaming SA captain Elgar lets rip with expletive over Boucher questions

Proteas coach Mark Boucher.
Proteas coach Mark Boucher.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

In defiant defence of Proteas coach Mark Boucher, Test captain Dean Elgar let rip with an expletive in his highly charged departure press conference for the series in New Zealand on Wednesday.

Elgar took exception to continued probing questions about Boucher, who will appear before a Cricket SA (CSA) disciplinary hearing in May on serious allegations of gross misconduct regarding racism allegations.

Boucher will be leading SA on this month's two-match series in New Zealand despite the dark cloud hovering over his head. The team leaves Johannesburg on Wednesday night and are expected to arrive in New Zealand on Friday.

“I have actually found that it has been OK (the questions about Boucher), I just think they take away everything that we have achieved as a group,” Elgar said, also taking a swipe at the media.

“For me that’s bulls-t. I know it is extremely relevant in the public eye and it is relevant for us. There is no doubt about it.

“As player group, we have achieved so much and that gets to the squad, the negativity in the media.”

Elgar said he was not running away from talking about Boucher but he felt the press conference was about SA's tour to New Zealand.

“Rightly so it (the Boucher issue) sells with headlines, I know I have to answer these things and that’s OK and I have absolutely no issue with doing that because I understand that interaction between me and the media is extremely important.

“But this is the presser about us going to New Zealand and if you want to talk about the hearing let’s create another time for that. I don’t mind speaking about those kinds of externals and I have no issue with that.

“Just understand that this is the presser for us leaving tonight to play a Test series against New Zealand. Sixty percent of the questions have not been about that, so you can understand my frustration where I want to get the right message out there and the questions I am seeing have nothing do with cricket.

“I don’t mind answering them but let’s create another platform for that.”

Boucher intends to call some Proteas players to testify on his behalf in his disciplinary hearing. Elgar said he had not heard anything about that.

“It is news to me that this is the process that potentially is going to happen with regards to the hearing. I don’t think as a player you’ve got much control over that, those kinds of processes have formalities.

“It is something that, I guess, we are going to have to chat about as a group. It is pretty new to us, we only heard about it today (Wednesday) from the media release.

“Whether it's going to affect the team, I doubt it. I think this process has been up in the air for quite some time now. We had a feeling that it might come to this point where players may be asked to testify in the hearing, and so be it.

“I think that is a natural process that will take place and I am sure we will cover those grounds within the next months, and we have time until May to establish concrete grounds for players.

“I am sure they will come into play to assist us through this process if players are asked to testify. I haven’t heard anything with regards to who (would testify), and when players will be required to fulfil these requests.”