Karim also suffered the same fate as Boucher
With former and current cricketers wishing South African wicketkeeper batsman Mark Boucher a speedy recovery after a freak eye injury that caused him to end his career prematurely, there is one former wicketkeeper who doesn’t understand why Boucher was wearing a hat instead of a helmet.
Former Indian wicketkeeper Saba Karim has revealed that he was extremely “surprised” that Boucher decided not to wear a helmet when standing up to the stumps.
Speaking exclusively to PTI, Karim said: “It’s really unfortunate but probably I can relate to his situation as I had gone through the same situation. The feeling gradually seeps in and I can tell you it is very difficult to accept initially.”
Boucher was hit on the eye by a bail that was dislodged after Imran Tahir bowled a googly that hit the stumps, and the South African keeper was later diagnosed with a lacerated eyeball.
“I am surprised that he wasn’t wearing a helmet which all ‘keepers do nowadays. May be a bit low intensity as it was a game against county side. But again Imran Tahir is a bowler, who gets a lot of bounce from the wicket and keepers need to be careful. You feel bad knowing the world class performer that he has been,” Karim said.
Having gone through the same experience as Boucher, Karim said: “I thought Boucher will make a comeback as he was hit in the white part of the eye and that too by the bail. I was hit on the retina and it was the leather ball. After my operation, I had zero vision in my eye. Normally, it’s a 6 by 6 vision that’s ideal. When I came back and played my only Test, it was 6 by 18 which is about 60 percent of the vision. I knew my time was up,” Karim said.
However, the former Indian wicketkeeper heaped praise on Boucher and noted that it was a very sad way to end his career.
“He had 999 dismissals and was just three games short of 150 Test matches which is phenomenal achievement for a wicketkeeper. This is the most tragic way that the career of a champion performer should end,” Karim added.