Cricket

Boucher finds new passion

2013-02-16 17:38
Mark Boucher (Gallo)

Cape Town - After his sudden departure from all forms of cricket, former South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher said he had replaced his love of cricket with his passion to save the rhino.

South Africa’s longest-serving wicketkeeper had the opportunity to say farewell to his former team-mates and his supporters during the Proteas’ second Test against Pakistan at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Saturday.

"I have faced all my demons so today was an opportunity for me to say goodbye to the fans and to the sponsors and all the people who have followed my career," Boucher said. "It’s a very special feeling to have people acknowledge my contribution to the game."

Boucher was forced to retire after he was struck in the eye by a flying bail during a warm-up game at the start of the Proteas' tour of England last year.

As a result of the freak accident, he lost the lens and iris of his left eye and said he had undergone seven or eight operations since then, to try and restore his sight. He was able to distinguish some colours and shapes but had no clarity of vision.

"It’s like looking through binoculars which are not focused. I have no lens in my eye at the moment, so it’s hard to assess the end result until I’ve had a lens implanted.

"I still have another three or four procedures to go through and, hopefully, by the end of the year I will have some vision back in my eye."

Boucher had no regrets about ending his cricket career but said he was grateful the incident happened at the end of his career and not at the beginning.

He said he was enjoying his golf far too much to miss playing cricket and had transferred his passion for the game into working towards saving the rhino.

He was working in partnership with SA Breweries to tackle the problem and their non-profit organisation aimed to raise enough funds to register South Africa’s 18 000 rhino on a DNA database. The database was crucial not only to conservation management but to help in linking suspected poachers to their crimes.

The 36-year-old played 147 Tests for South Africa scoring 5515 runs.

He made his debut at 20 against Pakistan in Sheikhpura in October 1997.

During his career, he notched up a number of world records, including most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in Tests with 555 (532 catches and 23 stumpings). His closest challengers on the all-time list were Australians Adam Gilchrist with 416 and Ian Healy on 395.

Boucher’s total number of international dismissals in all formats of the game was 998.

He scored his first of five Test centuries in his 16th Test against the West Indies in Centurion, in January 1999. His highest score of 125 came against Zimbabwe, in Harare, in November 1999.

Boucher also captained the national side for a brief period in the 2002/03 season, filling in for regular captain Shaun Pollock who was injured.

Read more on:    mark boucher  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Super Kings slay Dolphins

2014-09-22 20:36

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
20 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.