He was on the cusp of achieving several landmarks when a freak accident ended his illustrious cricket career.
Although he retires as statistically the most successful wicketkeeper of all time, Boucher would have reached several milestones had he played the three Test series in London where the Proteas are hunting down the No.1 spot in world cricket rankings. But the South African wicketkeeper suffered a serious injury to the eye when he was hit by the bail that had shot up after the ball hit the stumps during their match against Somerset in England on Monday, 9 July. It’s believed that the bail ruptured Boucher’s eyeball and that he may never regain full sight in his eye. As a result, he announced his retirement from international cricket.
Boucher won't retire unnoticed, though. He boasts 999 dismissals (one of them as a fielder) in all international formats of the game, including an unmatched 555 dismissals in Test match cricket. The third Test match would have been his 150th, making him the most capped wicketkeeper to reach that many games.
The 35-year-old also holds the SA record for the fastest One Day International (ODI) century in the match where he smashed 10 sixes and eight fours against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom in 2006. The feat put him second in world records after Pakistani’s Shahid Afridi. Had Boucher made 56 runs more in the series he would have also become the highest run-getter among wicketkeepers in Tests, surpassing Adam Gilchrist’s aggregate of 5 570.
While it would have been befitting to end his career with a proper swansong and to reach the elusive 1 000 dismissals mark in world cricket, he still bows out a star, as many commentators believe his figures are not likely to be challenged for many years. A true indication of his pedigree, indeed.