I Had Coronavirus Without Knowing It, Says South Africa Coach Mark Boucher

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher revealed Thursday that he had been a victim of coronavirus without knowing he had contracted the disease.

  • AFP
  • Updated: November 20, 2020, 9:19 AM IST
I Had Coronavirus Without Knowing It, Says South Africa Coach Mark Boucher

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher revealed Thursday that he had been a victim of coronavirus without knowing he had contracted the disease. Boucher was speaking ahead of limited overs series against England, which starts with the first Twenty20 international in Cape Town on November 27.

An unnamed South African player tested positive for Covid-19 when the South Africans assembled Wednesday. He and two others, with whom the infected player had close contact, have been separated from the rest of the squad and will stay in isolation while being monitored by the team's medical staff.

Proteas Won't Take Knee in Home Series Against England, Says Coach Mark Boucher

According to a statement from Cricket South Africa, all three were asymptomatic. Boucher said he sympathised with the affected players.

"Sitting alone in a room for six or seven days is very tough," said Boucher, adding that he had been fortunate to have had a mild dose of the disease. "I didn't even know I had it," he said. "I felt a little down for one or two days. I had been throwing down to some players in the nets and felt some aches and pains."

South African Player Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of England Series, 3 Players in Isolation

"Covid is bigger than sport," said Boucher.

He said that in line with a call from President Cyril Ramaphosa for a period of mourning, he expected flags to be at half-mast during the first two matches in honour of victims of coronavirus and gender-based violence and it was possible that players would wear black armbands.

But he indicated that it was unlikely players would "take a knee" as they did before a three-team domestic match in July.

"It's not something we have to continue to show, it's something that we have to live."

Boucher said he welcomed the series against England after a bruising winter during which Covid, boardroom battles and controversy over racism dominated headlines.

"We have to put that behind us. We are in a position to put some good news in South African cricket," he said. "We had some tough issues to deal with," he said of a 'culture camp' in August, held at a time when fissures in race relations in South African cricket were exposed.

Boucher said he was happy with the outcome of the camp.

"We have started afresh and restructured our values," he said. "It is all based on performance. We want to be nice and aggressive, but we need to be smart."

Boucher said he was not concerned about being in a "bio-bubble" until the series ends on December 9.

"We've been on tours where there have been security issues which have meant we have had to stay in our hotels.

"We are in a fantastic hotel with lots of open space and we have spoken to other teams that have been in bubbles."

Playing international matches with no spectators would be an unusual experience, "but there will be no lack of passion and we know that people will be watching us".



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6047 275
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 6824 262
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking