South Africa news June 8, 2012

Boucher open to touring Australia if asked

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Mark Boucher, the South Africa wicketkeeper, has said he will consider delaying his retirement from international cricket in August if the coach Gary Kirsten wanted him to be available for the tour to Australia in November. In March, Boucher had said that 15 years of international cricket had taken a "toll on his body" and that South Africa's upcoming tour of England would be his last.

"I've spoken to a couple of people and they've said it's my last tour, but if people who count ask me to finish off against the Australians, then I'd have to think about it," Boucher told SAPA. "I do understand that playing against Australia is a massive competition and if I get asked by my coach, Gary Kirsten, to stay on and play, then I might seriously consider it.

"My mind is set on finishing after England, hopefully playing all three Test matches, and finishing my career on 150 Tests for my country. If that happens, I would walk away very happily. There is just one little 'if' - if my coach asked me - but I'm not putting any pressure on him."

Boucher, who started his international career in 1997 and holds the record for most dismissals in Tests, was given a long-service award by Cricket South Africa on Wednesday.

"They didn't have to do it. It's not something I really wanted or asked for, but it's just nice to know that people do appreciate the things you do and have done for your country," Boucher said. "I've really enjoyed every single moment of my career. A lot of people ask me about the highlights of my career but there have been so many.

"Just spending time with the team on tour, where they become your family, is special. I've experienced so many different cultures and toured different places around the world and it's only when you get towards the end of your career that you realise that those are the important things."

Edited by Carlyle Laurie

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | June 10, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Boucher has to go after this series against England, if he does not perform again. He has been a liability with the bat for years. Does not contribute enough and is definitely over the hill. Hope GKirsten realises this and bloods in an understudy for the upcoming Eng series. Really looking forward to Smith forcing Strauss to retire, remember Nasser Hussain was forced to quit as captain when Smith and Co played them 9 years ago. The same way Vaughan cried his way into retirement 4 years ago and could not play the 4th test. This would be 3 times an English captain has retired due to Smith and team pummelling them in most formats. Should be a cracker this series. Pity only 3 tests though.

  • POSTED BY Yasassri on | June 10, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    no replacement yet, can continue at least next 18 months...!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | June 10, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    @Richard Sharp. An ok-isk keeper who drops 2 or 3 and gives up 10 more extras per innings will cost SA a lot more than Boucher! Giving the likes of Trott, Pieterson, Clarke, Ponting, Sewag, Tendulkar etc another life because an ok-ish keeper puts them down is a guaranteed losing strategy! Good thing that you are not the SA coach. What is your next strategy? Drop Kallis because his average has dipped below 57?

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    He simply does not make enough runs as a wicketkeeper. As a coach I would rather have a ok-ish keeper who averages 45 than a great keeper who averages 30. The SA middle order, with it's long tail, looks susceptible with Boucher.

  • POSTED BY Shongololo on | June 9, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Please, Gary, DON'T ASK HIM. His sell-by date has looooooong past.

  • POSTED BY thewayitwass on | June 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    this means that finally south africa can have a batsman capable of batting with the lower order and scoring valuable runs in a crisis.. 15years and you can count the number of times boucher has done that against quality teams on one hand.. great keeper though but gilly raised the bar unfairly on the rest in terms of batting

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    South Africas batting will look very thin without Boucher and so they may just do that, but i think its time for him to go. He not scoring enough runs anyway - hasnt been for some time and SA need to move on. His replacement should be a load of fun for opposing teams.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    hope boucher does well in england.south africa will beat england in the tests and strauss will retire after that similar to the way michael vaughan retired in 2008.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    A true legend, played the game hard and nice. Hats off !!!!

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | June 9, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Heartbeat of the SA side for a generation. Carry on as long as you justify your place in the side. Why not play through until the end of the next home season ? Then it's onto Vilas, Kuhn and de Kock.

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | June 10, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Boucher has to go after this series against England, if he does not perform again. He has been a liability with the bat for years. Does not contribute enough and is definitely over the hill. Hope GKirsten realises this and bloods in an understudy for the upcoming Eng series. Really looking forward to Smith forcing Strauss to retire, remember Nasser Hussain was forced to quit as captain when Smith and Co played them 9 years ago. The same way Vaughan cried his way into retirement 4 years ago and could not play the 4th test. This would be 3 times an English captain has retired due to Smith and team pummelling them in most formats. Should be a cracker this series. Pity only 3 tests though.

  • POSTED BY Yasassri on | June 10, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    no replacement yet, can continue at least next 18 months...!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | June 10, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    @Richard Sharp. An ok-isk keeper who drops 2 or 3 and gives up 10 more extras per innings will cost SA a lot more than Boucher! Giving the likes of Trott, Pieterson, Clarke, Ponting, Sewag, Tendulkar etc another life because an ok-ish keeper puts them down is a guaranteed losing strategy! Good thing that you are not the SA coach. What is your next strategy? Drop Kallis because his average has dipped below 57?

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    He simply does not make enough runs as a wicketkeeper. As a coach I would rather have a ok-ish keeper who averages 45 than a great keeper who averages 30. The SA middle order, with it's long tail, looks susceptible with Boucher.

  • POSTED BY Shongololo on | June 9, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Please, Gary, DON'T ASK HIM. His sell-by date has looooooong past.

  • POSTED BY thewayitwass on | June 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    this means that finally south africa can have a batsman capable of batting with the lower order and scoring valuable runs in a crisis.. 15years and you can count the number of times boucher has done that against quality teams on one hand.. great keeper though but gilly raised the bar unfairly on the rest in terms of batting

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    South Africas batting will look very thin without Boucher and so they may just do that, but i think its time for him to go. He not scoring enough runs anyway - hasnt been for some time and SA need to move on. His replacement should be a load of fun for opposing teams.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    hope boucher does well in england.south africa will beat england in the tests and strauss will retire after that similar to the way michael vaughan retired in 2008.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    A true legend, played the game hard and nice. Hats off !!!!

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | June 9, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Heartbeat of the SA side for a generation. Carry on as long as you justify your place in the side. Why not play through until the end of the next home season ? Then it's onto Vilas, Kuhn and de Kock.

  • POSTED BY Nuxxy on | June 8, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    Keeping does affect ABs batting, because it puts a great strain on the back and AB will end up missing matches through injury, like he did at the World Cup.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Bouch is 1 short of 1,000 dismissals in international matches (tests, ODIs and T20s). Formidable, yes, but time to hand over the gloves to some young talent.

  • POSTED BY axe_hay on | June 8, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    15 years of service is good...now time to give chance to the next lot of talented keepers...Morne van wyk,Hieno Kuhn, Dane Vilas, Davy Jacobs,Quinton de Kock....so many waiting in the queue to don national colors !

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Ja boucher great fantastic but now because we did not give kruger van wyk a trial run he left for nz and now there is no one to replace boucher

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Great keeper......and wonderful sledger too 8-).....hope he scores a ton in his final innings.......he deserves one.

  • POSTED BY Legaleagle on | June 8, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    The GREATEST wicket keeper this game has ever seen- TAKE a BOW to BOUCHER!!

  • POSTED BY Hanuman1206 on | June 8, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Boucher is the most under rated player of his era, he has been so wonderful behind the stump however most of the credit goes to bowler or batsmen since the team is truely star studded esp in test. Of course Boucher is the great keeper and he should play for another couple of years if his fitness level is up to the mark then. Its always been pleasure to watch him behind the vicket.

  • POSTED BY bliksempie on | June 8, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    @Rahane-fan, you're right, de Villiers keeping wicket does affect his batting. When he doesn't keep in ODIs, he averages just under 39 with a SR of 89. When he does keep, he averages over 80 with a SR of nearly 100.

  • POSTED BY Dhushan on | June 8, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    A great cricketer & fine ambassador of South African cricket. A fantastic career spanning so many years & so many dismissals. Well done sir. All the best to you & your family when you retire. Respect!

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Boucher-The True Legend. Hats off to your great career. Whatever may happen,I'm a great fan of yours.

  • POSTED BY Gordo85 on | June 8, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I have watched you develop into one of the best wicketkeepers the world has ever seen and proberly the best one behind the stumps from the 90s up till now. It was great in that match when Boucher was involved in that win against Australia in a ODI game when they chased down 438 which was the best ODI game I have ever seen. To be honest I have only ever known one wicketkeeper for South Africa since 1999 when I became a fan and that was Mark Boucher. Mark Boucher is the Darren Berry of Test Cricket and since Darren Berry never played for Australia I think Boucher is like him with his keeping very much. I have no doupt Boucher will spend some time with the next keeper and give them a tip or two. It will be interesting to see who will be South Africa's next Test keeper will it be Dane Vilas or will it be a young 19 year old in Quinton de Kock? who I have no doupt will be a great player for South Africa at some stage. Boucher played his first Test at age 21 which Quinton de Kock might do.

  • POSTED BY Swami619 on | June 8, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    He is Amazing in Wicket Keeping and Batsmen. I still Remember his Unbeaten 52 vs Australia in Record Chase of 435 runs

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | June 8, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    thats it boucher leave after the tests against the weaker aus team .nice if you get a 100 there.

  • POSTED BY Avinash_Sadana on | June 8, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Boucher got 999 international dismissals to his name, What a man? But every time I see him on TV, I still feel he is young and energetic.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Mark Boucher is a true legend in wicket- keeping , i think even AB Devillers being an excellent fielder and wicket - keeper can't replace him.

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | June 8, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    SA shouldn't make de Villiers the wicketkeeper in any format of the game. It affects his batting. They need to look for a good domestic 'keeper to replace Boucher.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Rarely has a grittier, more determined player crossed the boundary ropes. Boucher's someone who's squeezed every ounce of ability out of what he was given. It will be a sad day when Bouch is no longer behind the stumps for RSA.

  • POSTED BY Nuxxy on | June 8, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    His batting might not be up to scratch at the moment, but there isn't another keeper in SA close to his keeping ability and experience. There are lots of people calling for different names, but none of them have any experience in England or Australia. I hope there is another young keeper in the squad who gets to play some of the tour games and spend some time with Boucher.

  • POSTED BY o-bomb on | June 8, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    I'm looking forward to seeing Boucher at the Oval later this summer. If that is to be his last test I hope he gets the send off he deserves.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 8, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    irrespective of whether he scores a run or not, whether he effects a dismissal or not ,Boucher will be remembered as a legend.

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  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 8, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    irrespective of whether he scores a run or not, whether he effects a dismissal or not ,Boucher will be remembered as a legend.

  • POSTED BY o-bomb on | June 8, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    I'm looking forward to seeing Boucher at the Oval later this summer. If that is to be his last test I hope he gets the send off he deserves.

  • POSTED BY Nuxxy on | June 8, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    His batting might not be up to scratch at the moment, but there isn't another keeper in SA close to his keeping ability and experience. There are lots of people calling for different names, but none of them have any experience in England or Australia. I hope there is another young keeper in the squad who gets to play some of the tour games and spend some time with Boucher.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Rarely has a grittier, more determined player crossed the boundary ropes. Boucher's someone who's squeezed every ounce of ability out of what he was given. It will be a sad day when Bouch is no longer behind the stumps for RSA.

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | June 8, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    SA shouldn't make de Villiers the wicketkeeper in any format of the game. It affects his batting. They need to look for a good domestic 'keeper to replace Boucher.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Mark Boucher is a true legend in wicket- keeping , i think even AB Devillers being an excellent fielder and wicket - keeper can't replace him.

  • POSTED BY Avinash_Sadana on | June 8, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Boucher got 999 international dismissals to his name, What a man? But every time I see him on TV, I still feel he is young and energetic.

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | June 8, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    thats it boucher leave after the tests against the weaker aus team .nice if you get a 100 there.

  • POSTED BY Swami619 on | June 8, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    He is Amazing in Wicket Keeping and Batsmen. I still Remember his Unbeaten 52 vs Australia in Record Chase of 435 runs

  • POSTED BY Gordo85 on | June 8, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I have watched you develop into one of the best wicketkeepers the world has ever seen and proberly the best one behind the stumps from the 90s up till now. It was great in that match when Boucher was involved in that win against Australia in a ODI game when they chased down 438 which was the best ODI game I have ever seen. To be honest I have only ever known one wicketkeeper for South Africa since 1999 when I became a fan and that was Mark Boucher. Mark Boucher is the Darren Berry of Test Cricket and since Darren Berry never played for Australia I think Boucher is like him with his keeping very much. I have no doupt Boucher will spend some time with the next keeper and give them a tip or two. It will be interesting to see who will be South Africa's next Test keeper will it be Dane Vilas or will it be a young 19 year old in Quinton de Kock? who I have no doupt will be a great player for South Africa at some stage. Boucher played his first Test at age 21 which Quinton de Kock might do.