Boucher playing his last game for South Africa against Somerset in July 2012.
|Full name||Mark Verdon Boucher|
3 December 1976 |
East London, Cape Province, South Africa
|Nickname||Bouch, Mr. 555 (number of Test Dismissals)|
|Bowling style||Right arm medium|
|Test debut (cap 267)||17 October 1997 v Pakistan|
|Last Test||3 January 2012 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI debut (cap 46)||16 January 1998 v New Zealand|
|Last ODI||28 October 2011 v Australia|
|ODI shirt no.||9|
|Domestic team information|
|2009–2010||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|2011||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Source: Cricinfo, 10 July 2012|
Mark Verdon Boucher (born 3 December 1976) is a former South African cricketer, who holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper. He has represented Border, South Africa, Africa XI, ICC World XI and Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He had been a regular feature of the South African side since the 1997/1998 tour to Australia, until his retirement from international cricket in July 2012 after a serious eye injury against Somerset.
From the time he replaced Dave Richardson until his retirement, Boucher was South Africa's first-choice wicketkeeper, and is widely regarded as one of, if not, the greatest wicketkeepers South Africa has ever had. He holds the record for the most dismissals (catches and stumpings) in Test cricket. He reached the record originally when he overtook the former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy in the first test of the Bank Alfalah Test Series versus Pakistan in Karachi on 3 October 2007 when he stumped Umar Gul off the bowling of Paul Harris. He then lost the record to Adam Gilchrist before regaining it when he caught Mushfiqur Rahim of Bangladesh in February 2008. Boucher is also second on the all-time list in One Day Internationals, also behind Adam Gilchrist. He once held the record for the highest score by a nightwatchman in Test cricket with 125 for South Africa v Zimbabwe at Harare in November 1999. On 12 March 2006 he hit the winning runs for South Africa against Australia in what had been the Greatest One Day International ever played.
Later in 2006, on 20 September, he made his maiden ODI century, hitting an unbeaten 147 against Zimbabwe from a mere 68 balls. His hundred came up off just 44 balls, the second-fastest ODI century ever by a South African after AB de Villiers. Boucher did benefit, however, from some very poor Zimbabwean fielding, being dropped no fewer than six times during his innings. He has played over one hundred consecutive ODIs for his country and is one of only eleven players, including Hansie Cronjé and Shaun Pollock, to achieve this. In February 2007 he and Jacques Kallis combined to hit Mohammad Asif for 28 runs off an over in an ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion. It broke the South African record for most runs off an over which was previously held by both Shaun Pollock and Graeme Smith with 27. However, this was later broken by Herschelle Gibbs with 36 runs off one over, the most possible without no-balls or wides.
In the period while the team was under Shaun Pollock's leadership, Boucher was the regular vice-captain of the team and lead the team in tests four times. These matches include a victory over Australia, an achievement which Pollock could not manage. Boucher started his 2007 World Cup campaign in good form with a 21-ball half century, the then fastest in World Cup history (before being beaten by Brendon McCullum's 20-ball effort six days later) – scoring 75 not out against the Netherlands as South Africa scored 353 for 4 wickets in a rain-shortened World Cup match. However, this was overshadowed by Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes in an over, the 3rd time ever in world cricket and first time in a One Day International match, and thus in the World Cup. He became the first wicketkeeper in the history of test cricket to reach the milestone of 400 dismissals when he caught Danish Kaneria off the bowling of Makhaya Ntini on 10 October 2007 in the second test of the Bank Alfalah Test Series against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Despite being South Africa's consistent wicket-keeper for a long time, age meant that batsman AB de Villiers was given a chance with the gloves and he impressed. However de Villiers is one of the team's best outfielders and therefore Boucher continued to feature in the team. He participated in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 and the South African coach Corrie van Zyl said that both Boucher and Herschelle Gibbs have the chance to get back in the team. He stated that Boucher will get his chance in the team provided that he performs in the domestic ODI tournament and that both of them had a good chance in playing for the 2011 Cricket World Cup  He was however still selected for the Test series against Pakistan and continues to be South Africa's number one test wicket-keeper  Also during that time Boucher recovered from his six-week shoulder injury and stated that he is desperate for a return to international cricket. He stated that his main aim was to participate in the 2011 Cricket World Cup 
Eye injury and retirement
Mark Boucher suffered a serious eye injury on 9 July 2012, after being struck on his left eye by a bail. He was not wearing a protective helmet nor glasses when he was struck by the bail after leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled Somerset's Gemaal Hussain. Following surgery to the eyeball, Boucher was ruled out of the rest of the tour. Due to the severity of the injury, Boucher—who had planned to retire at the end of the tour—retired from International Cricket on 10 July.
There was no damage to the retina, so it was felt that there was a chance for Boucher to recover some vision in the damaged eye. After undergoing two operations on his injured eye, surgeons announced that they were "cautiously optimistic".
Tributes included comments from Shaun Pollock and Kevin Pietersen. Pollock congratulated him on a great career, while Pietersen called for more support from fans and those involved in sports, saying "Let’s keep it going! Bouch is a fighter!".
List of cricket centuries
|Test centuries of Mark Boucher|
|1||100||West Indies||1||16||SuperSport Park, Centurion||Home||15 January 1999||Won|||
|2||125||Zimbabwe||1||21||Harare Sports Club, Harare||Away||11 November 1999||Won|||
|3||108||England||2||24||Kingsmead Cricket Ground, Durban||Home||26 December 1999||Drawn|||
|4||122*||West Indies||1||70||Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town||Home||2 January 2004||Drawn|||
|5||117||Bangladesh||1||120||SuperSport Park, Centurion||Home||26 November 2008||Won|||
One Day International Centuries
|ODI centuries of Mark Boucher|
|||147*||220||Zimbabwe||Potchefstroom, South Africa||Senwes Park||20 September 2006||Won|||
- "Boucher calls it a day after eye injury". Wisden India. 10 July 2012.
- "Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2009 – Mark Boucher". Cricinfo.
- South Africa on brink of victory BBC News retrieved 25 February 2008
- 2nd Test: Zimbabwe v South Africa at Harare, 11–14 Nov 1999 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
- AUS vs SA, 12/3/2006 BBC News retrieved 25 February 2008
- Boucher blitz blows Zimbabwe away Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
- Most consecutive ODIs. Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
- Most runs off one over retrieved 25 February 2008
- SA vs NET, World Cup 2007 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
- Pakistan v South Africa at Lahore, 08-12 Oct 2007 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
- "Boucher needs to improve in limited-overs – van Zyl". Cricinfo. 23 September 2010.
- "Colin Ingram gets maiden limited-overs call-up". Cricinfo. 21 September 2010.
- "Boucher working towards limited-overs return". Cricinfo. 6 November 2010.
- "Boucher ruled out of England tour". Wisden India. 10 July 2012.
- "Mark Boucher suffers eye injury in South Africa tour match". BBC. 9 July 2012.
- South Africa's Mark Boucher ruled out of England Test series BBC News retrieved 10 July 2012
- "Mark Boucher retired from international cricket". 10 July 2012.
- "Boucher may not lose vision in injured eye". Wisden India. 15 July 2012.
- "Mark Boucher's second eye operation 'very positive'". 19 July 2012.
- "World hails Boucher, a South African hero". Wisden India. 10 July 2012.
- "West Indies tour of South Africa, 1998/99; 5th Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "South Africa tour of Zimbabwe, 1999/00; 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "England tour of South Africa, 1999/00; 3rd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "West Indies tour of South Africa, 2003/04; 3rd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Bangladesh tour of South Africa, 2008/09; 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Zimbabwe tour of South Africa, 2006/07; 3rd ODI". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
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|South African Test cricket captain