Boucher Back home – Updated

Proteas ace wicket-keeper Mark Boucher‘s tour has been cut-short after suffering a serious eye injury in the build-up to the prolific series.

The Proteas most renowned keeper was struck in the eye on Monday when spinner Imran Tahir bowled Gemaal Hussain during the tour match against Somerset.

Boucher immediately hit the ground and was helped from the pitch with blood apparently coming from his eye. Following emergency surgery that same day, Boucher will now head home to continue his recovery from what has been described as a lacerated eyeball.

Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday morning: “Mark Boucher will be returning home from the tour. Selectors will name a replacement in due course.”

South Africa‘s team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed the injury and after a visit to hospital in Taunton, Boucher underwent surgery.

While the injury has ended Boucher’s tour, there are also wider health concerns. “The extent of the eye injury can be described as severe. The eyeball was repaired during the operation,” Moosajee told

“The long-term prognosis at this stage remains unknown. He is definitely out of the series and will return home as soon as able to travel.”




News out later on Wednesday that Mark Boucher’s surgery had been a success has been confirmed. The exact outcome could not be determined as yet. Mark Boucher released a statement that he would be retiring from international cricket with immediate effect.


This is very sad news for the best wicket keeper ever to come out of South Africa and probably the world. A very well respected and admired patriot of the game of cricket.


Statement on behalf of Mark Boucher (read by Graeme Smith)

“It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play international cricket again.

“I had prepared for this UK tour as well as, if not better than I have prepared for any tour in my career. I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently. I have a number of thank yous to make to people who have made significant contributions during my international career, which I will do in due course.

“For now I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt support during the past 24 hours. I am deeply touched by all the well-wishers. I wish the team well in the UK, as I head home and onto a road of uncertain recovery.”

Smith also gave a personal message to the teammate and friend he has been playing with for the past 14 years:

“Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. For the 14 years of your international career, you have been a true Proteas warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything. You have been a 100 percenter for this team. You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energiser… and a good friend to many.

“You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people. The fighting spirit you brought to the team remains with us. We wish you as good as possible a recovery from your injury. As we bid you a farewell as an international cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you as a friend and respected Proteas warrior.”



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