Somerset v South Africans, Taunton, 1st day July 9, 2012

Boucher undergoing surgery after eye injury

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Mark Boucher's participation for the Test series against England is in doubt after he suffered a "significant injury," to his left eye during the tour match against Somerset. Boucher had to leave the field at the end of the 46th over when a googly from Imran Tahir hit the stumps and a dislodged bail struck Boucher in the left eye. Photographs showed Boucher bleeding from the eye as he left the field.

He will undergo surgery on Monday night to determine the seriousness of the injury - which was diagnosed as laceration of the sclera, the white part of the eye - but it looms as a potential career-ender as Boucher said the tour of England would be his last.

"I don't think he will be ready for the first Test and I don't know about the series," Moosajee said. "I would rather like to see the outcome of the surgery first before saying anything further. At the moment, the concern is more Mark Boucher the patient, rather than whether he is going to partake in this tour."

Moosajee said Boucher was in his usual "fighting spirits," but in a lot of pain. "When he got hit it caused dizziness out there and he had to helped off. They have also given him something to control the pain before he has the surgery."

However, South Africa appeared resigned to being without Boucher, who had been set to reach 150 Tests at Lord's, after bowling coach Allan Donald said they were "gutted," by the news. "I've never seen Mark Boucher as fit, as motivated or as determined for one series," Donald said. "This is his last series and he wants to go out on a high with the 150th Test. The way he led in Switzerland was magnificent. His leadership and what he has in team meetings is something else. I'm sure Mark would want us to refocus but this is a massive loss for us."

Donald named AB de Villiers as "a more than accomplished keeper," who could do a stand-in job, as he did in this match, but it is expected that South Africa will call up a replacement wicket-keeper if needed. Thami Tsolekile, who was nationally contracted from April 1, is the likeliest candidate.

Tsolekile recently played for the South Africa A side in the two unofficial Tests against Sri Lanka A and has also been named in the squad to travel to Ireland to shadow the senior side from the third Test.

Tsolekile last played for South Africa in 2004 when he represented the country in three Tests including one against England at Port Elizabeth. Since then, he has changed franchises, from the Cape Town based Cobras to the Johannesburg team, Lions, where he has spent the last three seasons. Tsolekile was earmarked as the successor to Boucher, who indicated he would retire after the England series, when he was awarded a central contract and was chosen to play for the A side.

He equalled the South African record for the most catches in a first-class innings when he claimed eight in the first innings of the match against Sri Lanka A, which ended in a draw on Monday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on July 12, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    it,s sorry to say mark.unfortunately no one hope to see like this.however i would like to wish you quick reovery.

  • ooper_cut on July 10, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    @JontyFan, this is test cricket, not T20. You cannot substitute a genuine WK batsman for a pure batsman. Feel very sad for the gritty boucher, he sure was a poucher behind the stumps. May God be with him and help him to recover fast. Hope his eye is safe.

  • 5wombats on July 10, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @rahulcricket007. Your comment is utter DROSS. This forum is on the misfortune of an excellent cricket player. Please don't bring it down to your level. please publish this time.

  • JG2704 on July 10, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (July 10 2012, 02:07 AM GMT) Sometimes you manage to surpass expectation. Not a word of sympathy for Boucher , just the angle that England get luck with opponents players getting injured and batting in the sun (although Aus had the better of the conditions in the 1st ODI which quashes that one). Re the Indian examples - You're right , Gambhir,Sehwag and Yuvraj proved exactly what a huge difference they made when they did play. Cummins (promising though he is) didn't do much and Lee didn't show much either. Bhaji (who is he even?) and I'm surprised you missed the name of Watson or go back to 2005 (Mcgrath) . But you're right it always happens to touring teams and never to English players like Broad,Bres,Tremlett etc

  • Jester01 on July 10, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    There's many who wanted him replaced (Including me) but to see Boucher's tour end like this, you have to feel it for the guy. He's been a great servant for his country and I hope he recovers soon. Who will replace him is another matter. I personally wish its Faf du Plessis\Dean Elgar. Thami Tsolekile, I'm sorry but he will be the worst choice. Jeez he's over 30. The selectors already shot themselves in the foot by giving him a contract so I don't think they have much choice other than to select him.

  • dummy4fb on July 10, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    My fav SA player over the years. Get well soon Mark!

  • zenboomerang on July 10, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    It would be sad for Boucher to miss out on a few milestones before retiring - 150 Tests, 1,000 international dismissals - plus one of the strongest SA teams to tour Eng in recent times... One of the last players from the 1990's still going around the int. circuit - it would be a sad way to finish... Hope he recovers quickly & can at least play a couple of matches...

  • dummy4fb on July 10, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    What pathetic luck for Bouchy :-( ... all those guys who are laughing saying good for SA have absolutely no heart for this guy... :-( Who will SA get now?Tsolekile? that guy doesn't even score 30 a game and i have no idea how safe he is behind the stumps..and i dont want AB as well... this has to be a big blow to SA...

  • dummy4fb on July 10, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    The best wicket keeper in the world will not be playing. Very unfortunate. It would either be DeVilliers or Tsolekile taking the gloves. Neither are in the same class as Boucher.

  • VK_MSD_IND_Champs on July 10, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    May Triple Gem Bless you Boucher..As a Srilankan, I hope you'll get well soon.. We want you to play your finAl match for your country energetically and skillfully (like the way you did during your days).We still can remember how you played Brett Lee (penultimate ball) for 4 runs in the match that THE WHOLE CRICKETING WORLD STUNNED thanks to YOU( as well as to GIBBS,SMITH & OTHER GUY WHO MADE QUICK 30 ODD RUNS)

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