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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