A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Mark Boucher admits playing international cricket in the future is ‘unlikely’

Boucher is thankful to have had a long career before sustaining an injury of this calibre

South Africa wicketkeeper batsman Mark Boucher has revealed that he is “unlikely” to make a comeback to international cricket as he recovers from surgery to his left eye.

Last month during a warm-up match against Somerset, Boucher has his left eye-ball lacerated after spinner Imran Tahir bowled a googly that dislodged the bails on the stumps, which hit Boucher in the eye.

Boucher, who was intending to announce his retirement after the current England series, was forced to call it quits prematurely as he was sent home to South Africa to undergo surgery, which was followed up by five other procedures.

Initially Boucher was able to detect the direction of light and pick up movements, but the wicketkeeper batsman still has his doubts over returning to the game.

“I have lost the lens, iris and pupil in my left eye. There was severe damage to my retina. I have had two major operations and four blood draining operations in the past three weeks and physically, at times, I have been in a lot of pain, it does get uncomfortable at times and being a sportsman, I want to be active and outdoors but, without a pupil, I find any amount of sunlight very harsh and have thus been restricted to the confines of my home. It is unlikely that I will play any professional cricket again in the near future, which is very unfortunate as I was looking forward to contributing as a player for the Cobras. The risk of additional damage to my left eye or even damage to the other eye, doesn’t warrant it,” Boucher said.

However, even if Boucher does not return to cricket, there are other projects he is currently working on, one being his “passion for wildlife”, whereby he has set up the South African Breweries Boucher Non-Profit Company, which helps fund the fight against rhino poaching in Africa.

Boucher has voiced his support for the rhinos in the past, and even took part in a conservation event in June with team-mates Paul Harris, Dale Steyn and Justin Kemp to raise awareness of the growing problem.

Boucher has also started a wine-label, called the Innings with team-mate and long-time friend Jacques Kallis.

Boucher’s role as wicketkeeper has been temporarily occupied by AB de Villiers, although there is speculation that Thami Tsolekile will eventually become the new permanent keeper in the South African lineup.

Even though Boucher is at home in South Africa, he has still been in contact with his team-mates, who have asked the veteran to share some of his expertise on playing against England.

Boucher has been a fighter throughout his career, and said: “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. Injuries happen and this could have happened earlier on in my career. I am incredibly grateful for the length of career that I have had and the amazing things I have experienced and people I have met during that time. This is just another challenge in my life and something that I will be working to overcome.”

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