Boucher frontrunner to take over from Jayawardene as Mumbai Indians head coach

Simon Katich takes over as head coach at MI Cape Town in the SA20 league, Hashim Amla named batting coach

Nagraj Gollapudi
Mark Boucher has worked in the IPL before, as wicketkeeping coach at Kolkata Knight Riders  •  Getty Images

Mark Boucher has worked in the IPL before, as wicketkeeping coach at Kolkata Knight Riders  •  Getty Images

Mark Boucher is the frontrunner to take over from Mahela Jayawardene as Mumbai Indians' head coach in the IPL. On Tuesday, ESPNcricinfo had reported that Boucher would take charge as head coach at MI Cape Town in the SA20 league, but the latest update is that Simon Katich will fill that position.
In a media statement on Thursday, the Mumbai Indians group confirmed Katich's appointment, adding that he will be assisted by Hashim Amla as the batting coach, while Robin Peterson will be the team's general manager. James Pamment will take charge as fielding coach (and continue in the same role with Mumbai Indians at the IPL too).
Katich is one of the most sought-after coaches going around on the T20 franchise circuit. He has worked at several IPL franchises: from being an assistant to Jacques Kallis at Kolkata Knight Riders to being head coach at Royal Challengers Bangalore, plus two months as assistant coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad, a post he quit abruptly because of bubble fatigue earlier this year. Most recently, Katich was the head coach when Manchester Originals reached the final in the men's Hundred, where they finished runners-up to Trent Rockets.
MI Cape Town are owned by Reliance Industries Limited, which, apart from IPL giants Mumbai Indians, also owns MI Emirates in the UAE's ILT20. In August, MI Cape Town were the first SA20 team to announce their five direct signings prior to the auction: Rashid Khan, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Dewald Brevis, who also plays for the franchise in IPL. The SA20 player auction is scheduled for September 19 in Cape Town.
The new support staff appointments follow the group's overhaul of its existing coaching set-up. Mahela Jayawardene, who was the head coach at Mumbai Indians since 2017, has been elevated to the global head of performance, and Zaheer Khan, the director of cricket operations till last season, is now the global head of cricket development. They will both be involved with all three teams owned by the group.
Part of Jayawardene's brief is to oversee the coaching staff at all three franchises, and he worked with the Mumbai Indians ownership group to finalise the coaching staff at all three teams, details of which are expected to be unveiled this week.
With Jayawardene moving to the new role, there has been a lot of curiosity about his replacement at the IPL team, and Boucher could well be the man for the job.
Boucher hit the headlines on Monday when, immediately after South Africa lost the Test series in England 2-1, he stepping down as their head coach, effective after the end of South Africa's campaign at the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki explained at the time that Boucher wanted to "pursue other interests and opportunities".
While he might not have extensive experience as a coach on the T20 franchise circuit, Boucher had a run as wicketkeeping coach at Knight Riders in the 2016 IPL. Prior to that, he had also played for Knight Riders as well as Royal Challengers. Soon after, he moved to take charge as head coach at Titans in the South African domestic circuit before moving to the lead role at the South Africa men's national team.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo