x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Career of Mark Boucher comes to an abrupt end

South Africa wicketkeeper forced to quit cricket after sustaining an eye injury in a tour game against English county side Somerset. Sports round-up audio

Mark Boucher, who sustained a career-ending eye injury, had effected a record number of dismissals in Tests as a wicketkeeper. Ben Hoskins / Getty Images
Mark Boucher, who sustained a career-ending eye injury, had effected a record number of dismissals in Tests as a wicketkeeper. Ben Hoskins / Getty Images

Mark Boucher of South Africa was forced to retire from international cricket because of an eye injury, suddenly ending the career of the most successful wicketkeeper in Tests.

Boucher, who holds the world record for Test dismissals, said that "with sadness and in some pain" he had to give up cricket because of the eye injury he sustained in a tour game against Somerset on Monday, South Africa's first day of action on tour.

Boucher suffered a ruptured left eyeball when he was struck by a bail and underwent surgery for nearly three hours to repair the injury, but the long-term damage is still unclear.

In a statement read out by South Africa captain Graeme Smith at Somerset's County Ground in Taunton, Boucher said that due to the severity of the injury he may not be able to play Test cricket again.

"I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently," Boucher said. "For now I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt support during the past 24 hours."

Boucher would have reached 150 Test appearances in the three-match series against England that was also expected to be his farewell tour.

Smith has played his entire Test career alongside the long-serving Boucher and he paid tribute to the wicketkeeper.

"Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances," Smith said.

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