Mark Boucher Biography
Mark Boucher is a former South African cricketer born on the 3rd of December, 1976 in Cape Town Province, South Africa. He played for South Africa as a wicket keeper and a right-handed batsman.
He holds the record for the most number of Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper, with 532 catches in his entire career and in international cricket, with 998 dismissals.
Boucher’s cricket experience started with his early days in East London, in Selborne College, where he was being educated. He received training from the legendary Richard Pybus.
In 1995, he started playing cricket for the first-class side, Border, a team for which he played for just more than six years as he was called upon by the national side during his first spell of first class cricket.
Boucher made his Test Debut against Pakistan in the October of 1997, with the match ending in a draw and Boucher scoring just six runs and making no dismissals in the game which was constantly interrupted by rain.
His One Day International Debut came on the 16th of January of the following year (1998) when South Africa played New Zealand. Despite not getting a chance to bat, he made two dismissals in the match that South Africa won by 67 runs.
Rise to Glory
Boucher has proven to be a key to South African success not just with his wicket keeping skills, but also his prowess as a batsman.
He holds the record of the most number of runs scored by a night watchman in a Test match, by scoring 125 against Zimbabwe in Harare in 1999.
He has been nominated as the South African Cricketer of the year on three occasions and as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1991.
One of his unique records is that he has never been dismissed on a duck in his entire international T20 cricketing career.
Boucher was largely instrumental in South Africa's journey to becoming one of the best Test teams of all times. He also provided much needed support to the team by serving as their Vice-Captain.
Boucher's initial international cricket performances were very uncertain. He relatively lacked pure wicket keeping skill and talent.
This was exposed on South Africa's 1998 tour to England when he repeatedly misjudged the ball because of it swinging after it had pitched.
He also suffered a shoulder injury that kept him benched for six weeks before the ICC World Cup 2011.
Boucher played for the Warriors from 2004-12. He also played for, first the Royal Challengers Bangalore and then, the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League for one season each. Unfortunately his career ended just when domestic T20 cricket tournaments were gaining flight.
Boucher’s cricketing journey came to a very unfortunate end as he suffered a serious injury on 9th July 2012 ,during a practice game on the tour of England. He was hit in the eye by a bail bowled by Imran Tahir to Somerset batsman Gemaal Hussain.
He was not wearing a helmet nor glasses. He underwent surgery and was finally ruled out of the tour. Boucher, who planned to retire after the series, was forced to quit all forms of cricket on 10th July 2012.