October 17-21, 1997
A rain-marred debut
Mark Boucher's Test debut in Sheikhpura
is a virtual non-event. In a game where three days are washed out due to rain, he only keeps wicket for 17 overs without any scalps. He does get an opportunity to bat, however, but only manages six runs.
January 16, 1998
A more promising start in ODIs
Boucher has better fortune in his first ODI, against New Zealand in Perth
, where he holds on to two catches but his batting, yet again, doesn't make much of an impression.
March 6-10, 1998
Entering the record books
He hits the headlines in the home Test series against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth
, scoring a half-century and, more importantly, accounting for nine dismissals - eight catches and a stumping - equalling his predecessor David Richardson's South African record. He sets a new South Africa record for a three-Test series, with 18 dismissals. Another landmark is his six dismissals in Pakistan's first innings, the second-highest
in the all-time list.
June 4-August 10, 1998
Success in England
Boucher cements his place in the South African line-up with 26 dismissals - 25 catches and a stumping - on the tour of England. The feat, at the time, is the fourth-highest
in a series in the all-time list.
January 15, 1999
Impact with the bat
After more than a year in the international circuit, and having played 16 Tests, Boucher gets the much-coveted first Test century. The stage is Centurion Park
, as West Indies are beaten by 351 runs and suffer their first 0-5 series whitewash. Boucher follows up with two more centuries in the year.
February 13, 2000
A record in ODIs
Boucher takes five catches in an ODI against England in Johannesburg
to equal the record
for most catches by a keeper in an ODI innings. He repeats the feat twice in the same year.
July 30-August 2, 2000
A batting landmark
Boucher goes past 1000 runs in Tests during his half-century in the first innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy
, and takes a crucial catch to dismiss Muttiah Muralitharan which wins South Africa the game by just seven runs to level the series.
March 12, 2001
The most successful South African wicketkeeper
In Port of Spain
, Wavell Hinds is Boucher's 153rd dismissal, which takes him past Dave Richardson, in his 38th Test, to become South Africa's most successful wicketkeeper. Richardson had 150 catches and two stumpings against his name.
February 22-October 21, 2002
A taste of captaincy
In his sixth year since his debut, and in his 50th Test, Boucher is named captain of South Africa
, stepping in for an injured Shaun Pollock. He presides over a series-defeat to Australia, which includes a consolation victory in Durban, and then leads his side to an innings victory over Bangladesh
in October. He also takes his 200th catch in the Bangladesh Test.
March 24, 2002
Repeating the effort in ODIs
Dave Richardson is eclipsed once again, as Boucher snaps Damien Martyn in Centurion
to go to 166 ODI dismissals, the most by a South African wicketkeeper.
March 3, 2003
World Cup disappointment
He finishes with a fighting, unbeaten 45 against Sri Lanka in Durban
but the game ends in disappointment for the home team. His flick to midwicket, which results in a dot ball, proves costly, for both South Africa and Sri Lanka are tied on the same score when rain intervenes. With more points, Sri Lanka advance to the Super Six stage, knocking the hosts out of the tournament.
October 27, 2004
A major setback
After having played 76 Tests, Boucher is dropped
from the South African squad for the tour of India. The decision is a controversial one, with reports speaking of a rift between him and then South African coach Ray Jennings. He is replaced by Thami Tsolekile. Boucher makes his return in the home series against England
in January 2005, but his absence from the first three Tests is again clouded in controversy
regarding South Africa's policy of race-based quotas.
May 2, 2005
The maiden wicket
In his 84th Test, against West Indies in Antigua
, Boucher gets to bowl for the first time in international cricket. The outing is a successful one, as he dismisses centurion Dwayne Bravo, caught by Ashwell Prince, and finishes with figures of 1.2-0-6-1.
November 16, 2005
Joining the 300 club
A major milestone for Boucher in his 201st ODI, against India in Hyderabad
, as he accounts for his 300th dismissal in the 50-over format; he's only the second player
at the time, after Adam Gilchrist, to reach that landmark. Gautam Gambhir is his special victim.
March 12, 2006
Winning South Africa their greatest game
Arguably, his most important contribution with the bat comes in the decider of the ODI series at home against Australia. The visitors pile up 434, the highest ODI score, in Johannesburg
only to be eclipsed by South Africa in their epic chase. Herschelle Gibbs leads the way with 175, but Boucher's unbeaten half-century, which includes the winning runs off the penultimate ball, takes them to the finish.
January 11, 2007
against Pakistan, Boucher achieves the rare distinction of being one of only four South Africans at the time to play 100 Tests. The cherry on the cake is the world record
for most catches in Tests, as he pouches Faisal Iqbal to go past Ian Healy's mark of 366.
February 11, 2007
Another feather in his cap
Pakistan are at the receiving end of another Boucher record, as he accounts for six dismissals in their innings in an ODI in Cape Town
- all of them catches - to equal the record
held by Adam Gilchrist, Alec Stewart and Ridley Jacobs.
August 24, 2007
Run-in with the authorities
Boucher is fined
60% of his match fee from the ICC World Twenty20 after criticising the South African board for excluding Jacques Kallis from the squad for the tournament. He is quoted by a South Africa paper as suggesting there were "non-sporting reasons" for Kallis' omission.
October 3, 2007
The world's most successful wicketkeeper
Boucher's crowning achievement, his 396th dismissal, stumping Umar Gul in Karachi
, takes him past Ian Healy and makes him the wicketkeeper with the most dismissals
in Tests. Adam Gilchrist overtakes
Boucher in his final Test, but Boucher reclaims it less than a month later against Bangladesh
The IPL beckons
Boucher is snapped up
by Bangalore Royal Challengers for US$450,000 at the IPL auction. In a disappointing campaign for the franchise in the first year, he emerges as their second-highest run-getter
, playing 10 games for 225 runs at 32.14. In the 2009 edition
, he features in 12 games, averaging 30 for his 150 runs.
January 23, 2009
400 in ODIs
November 9, 2011
500 catches in the bag
On the first day of the Cape Town Test
against Australia, Boucher pouches Phil Hughes to become the first wicketkeeper to take 500 catches in Test cricket, 121 ahead of his nearest rival, Gilchrist.
July 10, 2012
The freak injury, and the retirement
After announcing that the tour to England would be his last, Boucher suffers a freak injury to his eye in the first warm-up game, when a bail hits him in the left eye. It's a serious injury which requires surgery
. A day after that hit, he announces his retirement from international cricket.