"He's an exciting coach & thinks differently."— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 16, 2022
Mahela shares his views on the appointment of Mark Boucher #OneFamily <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DilKholKe?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DilKholKe <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MumbaiIndians?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MumbaiIndians <a href="https://twitter.com/MahelaJay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MahelaJay @markb46 MI TV pic.twitter.com/N6V848Ycmp
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Mark Boucher has been appointed as the new Mumbai Indians coach, his stint beginning from the 2023 edition of the IPL. The announcement came a day after ESPNcricinfo had reported that Boucher, the head coach of the South Africa men's national team till the end of their campaign at the upcoming T20 World Cup, was the frontrunner for the position. The vacancy opened up after Mahela Jayawardene was elevated to a more global role within the Mumbai Indians group, which now has teams at the IPL, the SA20 league and the UAE's ILT20.
"Their history and achievements as a franchise clearly put them up there as one of the most successful sporting franchises in all of world sport," Boucher said of Mumbai Indians in a franchise statement. "I look forward to the challenge and respect the need for results. It's a strong unit with great leadership and players. I look forward to adding value to this dynamic unit."
Boucher announced earlier this week, immediately after South Africa lost the Test series in England 2-1, that he would be stepping down from the position after the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
While he might not have extensive experience as a coach on the T20 franchise circuit, Boucher had a run as wicketkeeping coach at Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2016 IPL. Prior to that, he had also played for Knight Riders as well as Royal Challengers Bangalore. Soon after, he moved to take charge as head coach at Titans on the South African domestic circuit before moving to the lead role at the South Africa men's national team.
"The way he [Boucher] has transformed South African white-ball cricket in the last two years, he's been brilliant, and he is also someone that we felt thinks differently and will contribute in a very positive way to Mumbai Indians," Jayawardene said in a video released by Mumbai Indians on Twitter. "Especially when we have a group of players with the skillsets that we have, then we have a young group coming through as well. So that transition is something that we need to manage, and we feel that Mark is going to be the best man for that."
Akash Ambani, Mumbai's owner, said he believed Boucher would add "immense value" to the five-time champions with "proven expertise" as a coach both on and off the field.
Of the three teams now owned by Reliance Industries Limited, only one - MI Emirates, in the ILT20 - doesn't have a head coach yet, with Simon Katich appointed for the position at MI Cape Town, in the SA20 league. He will be assisted by Hashim Amla as the batting coach, while Robin Peterson will be the team's general manager, and James Pamment (who also works with Mumbai Indians) will be the fielding coach.
The new support staff appointments followed the group's overhaul of its existing coaching set-up. 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.
In the IPL, Jayawardene has been the second-most successful coach, with three trophies, after Stephen Fleming, who has been with Chennai Super Kings since 2009 and has won four IPL titles with them. The Jayawardene-Rohit Sharma [Mumbai Indians' captain] combine has made three IPL playoffs in six seasons and, remarkably, won the title each time. They are the only team with five IPL titles and the only team apart from Super Kings to successfully defend their title, in 2020.
Jayawardene and Zaheer have worked closely since the latter joined the support staff at Mumbai Indians in 2018. In 91 matches since then, Mumbai Indians' win-loss ratio of 1.289 has been the best among the original eight IPL teams. However, Mumbai have struggled for form and consistency in the last two seasons, and finished last in the ten-team event in 2022 where they won just four out of their 14 matches.