When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Smith pays tribute to Boucher
South Africa captain Graeme Smith led the tributes to Mark Boucher after the wicketkeeper was forced to to retire from international cricket with an eye injury.
The 35-year-old required three hours of surgery on his left eye on Monday night after being struck by a flying bail against Somerset. Smith announced at lunch on the second day of the tour match that Boucher was calling time on his international career. AB de Villiers is now expected to keep wicket for the first Test against England at least.
Smith said: "Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. For the 14 years of your international career, you have been a true Proteas warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything."
He added: "You have been a 100 percenter for this team. You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energiser and a good friend to many. You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people."
Boucher retires having played 147 Tests along with 295 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 games. He was responsible for 999 dismissals in all forms of international cricket, 555 of them in Tests.
Smith also read out a statement from Boucher.
"I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently," read the statement.
"I have a number of thank-yous to make to people who have made significant contributions during my international career, which I will do in due course. For now, I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heart-felt support during the last 24 hours.
"I am deeply touched by all the well-wishers, and I wish the team well in the UK as I head home on to a road of uncertain recovery."