London, July 11 (IBNS): South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday after suffering from an eye injury.
He was injured during a match between South Africa and English county side Somerset this week.
Boucher played 147 Test matches for his country and took 532 catches and 23 stumpings.
He scored 5515 runs and hit five centuries and 35 half centuries in his Test career.
Boucher played 295 One Day International (ODI)s and scored 4686 runs. He hit a century and 26 half centuries in ODIs.
He made 403 catches and 22 stumpings in ODIs.
Ina statement read out by South African skipper Graeme Smith on behalf of Boucher said: "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," read the statement.
Smith gave a personal message to Boucher and said: "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," he said.
" 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," Smith said.