Boucher confident of team safety on Pakistan tour

Monitoring Desk

CAPE TOWN: South Africa have faith in the security measures put in place for their Test and Twenty20 International tour of Pakistan coach Mark Boucher said on Thursday as he revealed that he hoped to lure Jacques Kallis back as a batting consultant.

South Africa start the first of two Tests in Pakistan on January 26 as they return there for the first time since 2007. Their absence followed a militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.

“We’ve had our (security) guys go there and do a recce of the situation and they have said it is safe,” Boucher told reporters ahead of the team’s departure. “So from my side there are no issues, we have to get back there and start playing cricket.”

Boucher made his test debut in Pakistan in 1997 and went on to play 147 times in a stellar career. He said the conditions will be more suited to his side than most sub-continent nations.

“It is tough but different to India and Sri Lanka, where it (the ball) turns. Pakistan is more conducive to fast bowling. Reverse swing was very big, though regulations are tighter these days on how you can work on the ball. “They are historically flat wickets. The areas you score as a batsman are different. If you apply yourself there are a lot of runs out there.”

Boucher also said he wanted to regain the services of 45-year-old Jacques Kallis as a batting consultant after the former all-rounder signed a short-term deal with England for their current test tour of Sri Lanka.

Cricket South Africa did not take up the option of retaining Kallis’ services last year, citing transformation targets, but Boucher is hopeful that, with a new board in place, that could change. “He is on my radar in terms of trying to get him back involved in the set-up. I hope we treat him with care as he has shown he has a lot of other opportunities in world cricket. “He is a massive loss but I know Jacques would love to be working in South African cricket. The knowledge he has needs to be utilised.”