x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Cricket: Injury cost Mark Boucher his lens, iris and pupil

The South African wicketkeeper says his return to any professional cricket is unlikely in the near future.

Former South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher at his first news conference after he sustained a serious injury to his left eye. Boucher says resuming his professional cricket career is unlikely.
Former South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher at his first news conference after he sustained a serious injury to his left eye. Boucher says resuming his professional cricket career is unlikely.

CAPE TOWN // Mark Boucher, the former South Africa wicketkeeper, lost the lens, iris and pupil in the eye injury which forced him to announce his international retirement, he said on Wednesday.

Boucher has already quit international cricket following the injury last month and said he was unlikely return quickly, or even at all, to the professional game after undergoing a series of operations.

The 35 year old, who played in 147 Tests and completed a world record 555 Test dismissals, suffered a lacerated left eye after being struck by a bail during the Proteas' warm-up match against Somerset in England last month.

"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," he said in a statement. "The risk of additional damage to my left eye or even damage to the other eye doesn't warrant it. It has been a difficult time for me mentally and physically."

"I have lost the lens, iris and pupil in my left eye. There was severe damage to my retina ... physically, at times, I have been in a lot of pain.

"I accept that the healing process is a long one and that attaining some vision in my left eye will take some time and a lot of patience."

Even so, Boucher considers himself lucky the injury did not occur 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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