Arthur salutes ‘phenomenal’ Boucher


Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur hailed the “phenomenal” Mark Boucher after the Proteas wicket-keeper was forced into premature international retirement by a freak eye injury.
Boucher had to undergo three hours of surgery after being struck in the left eyeball by a bail on the first day of South Africa’s opening match of their tour of England against Somerset at Taunton on Monday.
The incident occurred when a ball from spinner Imran Tahir clean bowled Gemaal Hussain, with Boucher stood up to the stumps and wearing a cap instead of a helmet. The 35-year-old, a Proteas mainstay for the best part of 15 years, was due to return home after being released from hospital on Tuesday and South Africa captain Graeme Smith, speaking at Taunton, read out a statement on Boucher’s behalf that confirmed his international retirement.“I was really disappointed for him,” Arthur, now coaching Australia, told BBC Radio ahead of the fifth one-day international against England at Old Trafford here on Tuesday. “I know he wanted to come here because he wanted it to be his real swansong as a Test series, so it is really disappointing to end this way for Mark.”