'A man for the trenches'

Cricketers, former and present, react to Mark Boucher's retirement, following his eye injury on South Africa's tour to England 2012

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 27, 2012

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith celebrates South Africa's victory with Mark Boucher, New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 3rd day, March 17, 2012
Graeme Smith: "You have been more than a performer; you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energiser, and a good friend." © AFP
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"Bouch … 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 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 team remains with us."
South Africa captain Graeme Smith

"As a player he was a man for the trenches. He had a way about him that he could dig deep down and play the percentages. It is rare to find that in a player and Boucher had that ability. As a person he always stood-up for what he believed in but he was also a great team man."
Former South Africa spinner Pat Symcox

"He's solid. He was the bulldog of the team and would really gee up the guys in the change room to say 'let's go out and get the job done'. But he is really going to be missed not only for what he did on the field but what he contributed off of it."
Former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener

"Just seen the news about Mark. Very sad he's missing the series [against England] and hope he makes a full and speedy recovery. Go well mate."
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior

"We have called Matt Prior the engine of England team for the last two years. Well, Boucher has been the engine of the South Africa team for 15 years in all formats of the game. He has been an amazing cricketer in terms of skill level and also his competitive nature. He is a guy that sees things in a very proactive fashion. He'll be massively missed. He is definitely up there with the best."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan

"A very sad day in cricket hearing the news of @markb46 retirement, we were still shocked by news of his injuries. You'll always be a legend."
Former South Africa team-mate Makhaya Ntini on Twitter

"Sad day, as @markb46 is forced to retire from cricket. Congratulations on a great career! What a loss to cricket!"
South Africa team-mate Alviro Petersen

"Very sad Bouch's career had to end in this way, he deserved a really good send-off 4 all he had done 4 the Proteas, congrats on a gr8 career!"
Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock

"Our prayers go out to Mark Boucher. Such a freak incident but very optimistic he'll pull through. Such a fighter."
Robin Peterson, Boucher's South Africa team-mate

"Love him or hate him but one thing that @markb46 was and always will be is a #TeamPlayer. Congratulations on a magnificent career Bouch #Gun"
South Africa team-mate Wayne Parnell

"Well done @markb46, fantastic career and icon of SA cricket team. Speedy recovery bud."
Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate

"Congratulations to @markb46 on a fine career brought to a premature end. Hope the eye op proves successful. Life member of keepers' union."
Former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Boucher's stat doesn't tell even half of the story. On numerous time his odd 30,40 runs won the game for saf. He could hit the ball out of the ground harder than many batsmen and also he had a great defence. As a pure wicketkeeper he is a legend. I will miss you boucher,i was your fan since i first watched cricket.

Posted by Romanticstud on (July 11, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Mark Boucher ... a legend ... a fighter till the end ... when South Africa was in trouble he used to dig in with the odd fifty ... take the 438 game ... Boucher was there at the end when all crumbled around him with an unbeaten 50 ... He was always egging the team on ... when the opposition were 30 for 3 he would say something like lets make it 50 for 5 or just two more and were into the tail ... when the team were seemingly out of it he would pick them up and suddenly Dale and the guys would be firing again on all cylinders ...

Posted by Gizza on (July 11, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

When you look at Boucher's stats, he was a good batter no doubt but not in the class of Gilchrist. In that sense, with his retirement it feels like the old generation of keepers who were mainly keepers and batters second has come to an end. There aren't many gritty Boucher-like keepers left in the world. Even the Saffers are not going to use De Villiers who is a batter first and a keeper second (there's nothing wrong with that but an era has still passed).

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (July 11, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

Hope he recovers well, was excelled both in front of the wickets and behind them....Go well Mark

Posted by InsideHedge on (July 10, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Hope he makes a full recovery and there is no permanent damage to his eye. That's far more important in the long term than his missing this Test series. As it was, he was planning to retire at the end of the series, it's a pity he can't be given a fitting farewell in the 3rd & Final Test but I'm sure there will be a special dedication for him sometime in the future.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

Fighting spirit and tenacity personified!! Hoping for a speedy and complete recovery...

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

I am really sad to see such an end to a great career.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

A really special cricketer! Steely determination, grit... after jonty rhodes, represented South African cricket to me... a joy to watch! Hope he gets well soon frm his injury and follows dave richardson's lead in terms of being around the game.. cricket needs him!

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