Cricketer Boucher rules out quick return after eye surgeries

Mark Boucher on eye injury
Mark Boucher on eye injury


    Mark Boucher on eye injury


Mark Boucher on eye injury 02:39

Story highlights

  • South Africa's Mark Boucher rules out a quick return to cricket
  • Boucher was forced to retire from international cricket with an eye injury
  • The wicketkeeper lost the pupil, iris and lens in his left eye after being hit by a bail
  • Boucher is the most-capped wicketkeeper in the history of Test cricket

Mark Boucher has revealed that his hopes of returning to competitive cricket following a serious eye injury are "unlikely" in the near future.

Boucher, whose 147 Test match caps is a record for a wicketkeeper, lost the lens, iris and pupil in his left eye after being struck by a bail during South Africa's tour of England in July.

The 35-year-old has undergone numerous medical procedures since the incident and had hoped to continue his career playing for the Cape Cobras in his homeland.

But he ruled out a speedy comeback as he does not want to risk any further damage to his eye.

"It has been a difficult time for me mentally and physically," Boucher said in statement on Wednesday.

"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.

Bacher: Boucher one of the 'Greatest'
Bacher: Boucher one of the 'Greatest'


    Bacher: Boucher one of the 'Greatest'


Bacher: Boucher one of the 'Greatest' 03:13

"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."

Boucher made his Test debut for South Africa in 1997 and went on to score 5,515 runs and claim a record 555 dismissals for the Proteas before being forced to call time on his international career last month.

He said he was initially unsure what had happened to him during the match in Taunton.

"All I felt was a bail hitting my eye," he told CNN. "Jacques (Kallis), who was standing at slip, seems to think that the ball actually helped the bail into my eye. I knew I was in trouble when my head hit the floor.

"I knew some fluid was coming out of my eye. I thought it might have been blood ... when I saw there was no blood in it and there was sort of white stuff coming out of it I knew I was in a bit of trouble."

The Cape Province native initially prepared himself for the worst where his eye was concerned, but he is now feeling positive about his ongoing recovery.

"When I first went to hospital the doctor said, 'Listen, you know your eye is pretty messed up. I asked him to be honest with me and he said to me, 'It's too early to say, but be mindful you might never get vision back in your eye.'

"The pupil can be replaced, the iris can be replaced, the cornea can be replaced, the retina can be replaced. The biggest thing is the retina; that is mine and the doctor's biggest worry."

Boucher said many people had expressed sympathy for the sudden end to his top-level career.

"A lot of people have said to me, 'Shame, I feel sorry for you.' If you would have told me at the beginning of my career I would have played 147 Test matches I would have taken it!

"I had plans, hopefully with both eyes working, to do quite a lot of things. I believe you get dealt certain cards that you might not enjoy, but things you can handle and I know I can handle this.

"Yes it's going to be tough, tough on me, tough on a few other people. But I believe I've got the strength to be able to handle it."

      Sports spotlight

    • AG2R pair Peraud and Romain Bardet (right) thrilled the French fans with their performances on the 2014 Tour de France.

      When will French win Le Tour?

      Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
    • Steve Way leads the in the Commonwealth Games marathon with the favorites massing behind him.

      From 20-a-day man to 26.2 miles

      Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
    • The queen of the selfies

      After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
    • Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.

      Rowsell stands proud again

      Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
    • GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: John Barrowman performs during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

      Gay kiss steals Glasgow show

      At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
    • Daniel Carter of the All Blacks in action during the Third Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Yarrow Stadium on June 22, 2013 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

      Can the All Blacks make history?

      The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.

      Three days with 'The Greatest'

      Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
    • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates after scoring his team's second goal in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

      Can ice hockey go global?

      With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
    • The first cover star of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, Babette March

      Swimsuit legacy: First cover model

      Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.