Boucher back in SA to begin recovery
Retired wicketkeeper Mark Boucher will see a specialist on Thursday as he starts the recovery process from an injury that brought an early end to his international career, according Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee.
Moosajee accompanied Boucher on his return to South Africa on Wednesday.
“On behalf of Boucher and the Proteas I wish to say ’thanks’ for the amazing messages of support from around the world,” Moosajee said.
“At this stage the prognosis is still unknown but I can report that Boucher has suffered extensive injury to the left eye.
“We want to request for privacy at this time as we care about his interest and well-being.
“There will be a time when Boucher will address the fans and media when he’s ready.
“It is sad that his career had to end in the way it did.
“He’ll be starting consultations tomorrow and with time we’ll know more about the situation.”
Boucher announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday after undergoing surgery, following a freak accident when a bail hit him in the left eye during a tour match against Somerset in Taunton.
He had been expected to announce his retirement after the three-match Test series against England.
“It is sad indeed that Mark Boucher’s retirement from international cricket has had to be announced under such untimely circumstances,” Cricket SA acting CEO Jacques Faul said at a tribute to Boucher in Cape Town.
“We were all looking forward to the contribution he was going to make to the Proteas’ Test series in England and the challenge for the world number one ranking and to salute him on achieving the landmark of 150 Test matches.
“I would like to thank him on behalf of the entire South African cricket family for the wonderful contribution he has made to the success of the Proteas over a period of 15 years.”
Boucher retired as statistically the most successful wicketkeeper of all time with 999 dismissals (one of them as a fielder) in all international formats of the game, including a world record 555 dismissals in Test cricket.
He also holds the South African record for the fastest ODI century and the global ninth-wicket Test match partnership record with Pat Symcox.
“His terrier-like tenacity has always been the hallmark of his game and he has always been the consummate professional as well,” Faul said.
“He was always up in the forefront of team training sessions and this was once again the case during the recent training camp in Switzerland.”
Tony Irish, the chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association, said they had received tributes to Boucher from all around the world.
“It is unprecedented that the international player organisations pay tribute to a player in the manner which they did when Boucher’s retirement was announced,” Irish said.
“He’s clearly earned the respect of players around the world and the tributes that we’ve received is an indication of the mark he’s made around the world.
“His fellow players have described him as a fighter, a cricket warlord, a cool head, a true fighting spirit and one who has a never-say-die attitude.”