Boucher wants fans to target Aussies

Mark Boucher, the South Africa wicketkeeper, lost respect for some of Australia's players following events during the tour of Australia

Cricinfo staff

Shane Warne has a chat with Mark Boucher, who said "nasty things" were exchanged during the series © Getty Images
Mark Boucher, the South Africa wicketkeeper, lost respect for some of Australia's players following events during the tour of Australia. In an interview with The Wisden Cricketer Boucher said "nasty things" were said and he hopes the South Africa crowds give the Australians "a bit of stick" on their six-week tour starting today.
"We did share a few beers after the Test series," he said. "But a lot of guys' eyes, maybe on both sides, have been opened. I think the beers that are drunk may be just for the sake of it because that's the right thing to do."
Boucher said he lost respect for "one or two" of his opponents, but refused to say which ones. "If they want to say the same thing about us, no problem," he said. "But we live in South Africa and they live in Australia - we don't have to put up with them and they don't have to put up with us. It's do-or-die on the field and hopefully we can keep the rest to a minimum."
The tour opens with a Twenty20 International on Friday and Boucher wants the home supporters to target the opposition "because we've taken a serious amount". "In the past our crowds haven't been too great with them but trust me, we're not going to sit back and say, `shame, poor things'," he said.
Boucher also said the racist taunts that were reported throughout the trip had been an issue on previous tours Down Under. "The Australian press are trying to say ex-pat South Africans are the culprits," he said. "Well, years ago Brian McMillan and I ran after a guy who was abusing Makhaya Ntini at the SCG. He was definitely Australian.
"They know what gets to us and as long as it is within the boundaries of the expected that's fine. Once they step over those boundaries it is not acceptable and you have to take a stand as a team. Obviously it's not the majority of the crowd. It's the guys who have had too much liquor and they're trying to be smart arses. So we understand it's difficult to control. But we've made our point."
Graeme Smith regularly promoted Australia's faults during the tour and Boucher has joined in with a list that includes the players and supporters being in denial over the Ashes loss last winter. "Australia were lucky to stay alive in the Ashes for as long as they did," he said. "Except for the first Test they were completely outplayed.
"I don't think they knew how to take that. It was a shock to their press, their past players and their current players. The past players in particular made a lot of comments on this tour. Maybe they should keep their mouths shut and focus on watching the game. Let the teams do the talking in the middle."