Mark Boucher's career may be over after eye injury.posted under: South Africa | All news
|South Africa’s wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s career was put in jeopardy after a freak accident during the team’s England tour opener against Somerset led to him needing eye surgery.
The 35-year old great was injured after a bail jumped off the stumps and hit his left eye when Gemaal Hussain was bowled by Imran Tahir, during the first day of the two-day match at Taunton. Tahir is a leg-spinner and, as expected, Boucher was standing right up to the stumps, but he was wearing a cap rather than a helmet.
Boucher immediately collapsed to the ground and lay motionless for some time before medics treated him right then and there. When he tried walking off the field, he dropped down again holding is face, bleeding heavily. He was rushed to hospital where doctors examined him; he underwent surgery the same evening. It was determined that his left eyeball was lacerated.
South Africa’s team manager Mohammed Moosajee spoke to media about the incident and was quoted saying: “It is a significant injury. Mark sustained a direct blow to the left eye, which resulted in a laceration to the white part. It is what we call an eyeball rupture.
“The ophthalmic surgeon had a look at him at the Accident and Emergency Unit and decided that he needed to undergo exploratory surgery to identify the extent of the damage.
“He will need a general anesthetic so there has to be a six-hour gap since he last ate a meal. That means the operation will be performed at around 7pm (1800GMT). After the operation we will talk to the surgeon again. With eye injuries one cannot make predictions.
“From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus. We won't know about that until after the surgery. The surgeons will be able to give us a better indication of the damage after the operation. Then it will take 48 to 72 hours for the swelling to start going down.”
Boucher had hinted earlier that this would be his last campaign before retirement, and figures showed that if he performed in these three Tests against England, his total would go up to 150 Tests, but at close of play, Moosajee said it was very unlikely.
“I don't think he will be ready for the first Test (at The Oval starting on July 19), if the series, but I would like to wait for the information the surgery gives us,” he added.
Boucher was considered to be one of the best wicketkeepers in the world, and in his 15-yeal-long career, was the first keeper to cross 500 catches. He has also scored 5 centuries.
He was immediately replaced on the field by AB de Villiers, who has kept wicket internationally earlier for the team, but selectors are likely to call up specialist keeper Thami Tsolekile, that is if Boucher is ruled out of the entire tour.
“The concern at the moment is for Mark Boucher the patient, rather than whether he is going to take part in the rest of the tour,” said Moosajee.
“The selectors back home are being kept abreast of what is happening.”
South Africa’s fast bowling legend turned bowling coach Allan Donald also spoke about the tragic incident, saying that Boucher, his former team-mate had been looking forward to a series where the Proteas would take the #1 Test rank away from England.
“He wanted to finish here. I can't think of a bigger kick in the teeth than that. To happen on the first day is a cruel blow. Let's just hope he is going to be okay,” Donald was quoted.