By CricketCountry Staff
London: Jul 10, 2012
South Africa suffered a severe blow on Tuesday when senior wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher was ruled out of the important upcoming tour of England, after suffering a career-threatening injury on his left eye.
"Mark Boucher will be returning home from the tour. Selectors will name a replacement in due course," Cricket South Africa announced on social networking site Twitter.
The 35-year-old, who had hinted this could be his final campaign before retirement, was hit in the face when a bail ricocheted off the stumps after Gemaal Hussain was bowled by Imran Tahir during the first day of the Proteas' tour opener against English county Somerset at Taunton.
Boucher, as would be expected for leg-spinner Tahir, was standing up to the stumps, but he was wearing a cap rather than a helmet.
After treatment on the field, Boucher was helped off with blood coming from his left eye and taken to hospital.
His place behind the stumps was filled by AB de Villiers, who has kept wicket in international matches for South Africa.
Had Boucher featured in all three Test this series, he would have reached the coveted 150-mark but at the close of play South Africa team manager Dr Mohammad Moosajee said that was unlikely.