The Lions wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile will replace Mark Boucher in South Africa’s squad for the Test series in England. Tsolekile, however, is not playing the first Test from July 19, with AB de Villiers to keep wicket at The Oval.
“Thami has done a good performance [for] both the Lions and South Africa A for a last couple of seasons, culminating in his South African record [of] eight catches in an innings this past week,” Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa’s convener of selectors said.
Tsolekile’s inclusion was important because of Boucher’s sudden retirement from cricket, following a dangerous eye injury sustained during the tour match against Somerset in Taunton. Boucher was struck by a bail and had to undergo surgery for a lacerated eyeball.
Tsolekile, 31, played three Tests for South Africa in 2004, when Boucher was left out of the team. He scored only 47 runs in five innings and was dropped as Boucher made a comeback. Tsolekile has vast domestic experience, having played 132 first-class matches over a 13-year career that began in 1999. He has been second in line to the national team for years but did not get an opportunity because of Boucher’s excellent and very consistent permanence in South Africa.
Tsolekile was given a Central contact in February, the first time CSA had contracted a second wicketkeeper in 13 years since contracts were first awarded in 1998.