CAPE TOWN: Mark Boucher has given no clear indication of whether he wants to continue as South Africa’s coach pending the outcome of his upcoming disciplinary hearing. Boucher will appear before senior counsel Terry Motau between May 16-20, where he faces charges of gross misconduct for his handling of racial issues, both historically and with the current team; Cricket South Africa (CSA) is seeking his dismissal, which could end Boucher’s term well short of his contract period, which runs to the 2023 World Cup. Boucher was appointed in December 2019, in the midst of a period of administrative turmoil at CSA, and has been in the eye of the storm ever since. Initially, there was intense public scrutiny of his displacing of Enoch Nkwe, South Africa’s first black African coach, who became Boucher’s assistant; then there were criticism of results, when South Africa lost a home Test series to England; finally, matters came to a head when Boucher was among those named at the Social Justice and Nation-Building Hearings (SJN) last year. Under investigation are his role in singing a team song with the words “b**** s***” to former team-mate Paul Adams, his relationship with Nkwe and his handling of the Black Lives Matter movement in the national team. Combined with the project of rebuilding an inconsistent South Africa team, who slumped as low as 7th on the Test rankings, and remain in danger of missing out on automatic qualification to the ODI World Cup, Boucher’s time in charge has been difficult, and he admitted after his players secured a 2-0 Test series win against Bangladesh that off-field matters had taken their toll. Boucher intends to defend himself by calling on current players as witnesses, although it’s not clear who will testify or whether former players, including Adams, will appear. It is also important to note that Boucher’s future is not entirely dependent on the outcome of the hearing. If cleared, he may still choose to resign rather than see out his term, or settle with CSA and move on.