The Castle Lager Proteas stood together in unity to announce the retirement of veteran wicket-keeper, Mark Boucher from International cricket. Graeme Smith read out the statement on behalf of Boucher, who is recovering from eye surgery, which was performed last night.
The statement is as follows.
Statement on behalf of Mark Boucher (Read by Graeme Smith)
It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play International cricket again. I had prepared for this UK tour as well, if not better than I have prepared for any tour in my career. I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently. I have a number of thank you’s 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 heartfelt support during the past 24 hours. I am deeply touched by all the well wishes. I wish the team well in the UK, as I head home and onto a road of uncertain recovery.
Smith also gave a personal message to his team mate and friend he has been playing with for the past 14 years:
Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. For the 14years of your International career, you have been a true Proteas warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything. You have been a 100 percenter for this team. You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energizer… 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. The fighting spirit you brought to team remains with us. We wish you a good as possible recovery from your injury. As we bid you a farewell as an International cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you as a friend and respected Proteas warrior.