South Africa news June 8, 2012

Boucher open to touring Australia if asked

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

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  • Dave 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.

  • Yasassri on June 10, 2012, 2:52 GMT

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

  • David 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?

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Paul on June 9, 2012, 10:54 GMT

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

  • Arnab 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2012, 5:26 GMT

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

  • Rob 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.

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