South Africa wicket-keeper, Mark Boucher has suffered a serious eye injury whilst playing for the Proteas in a warm up game against Somerset at Taunton, much to the alarm of cricket’s online betting community.
In the freak incident, Boucher was struck in the face by a bail which had been dislodged when leg spinner, Imran Tahir, bowled Somerset batsman Gemaal Hussain. Boucher, who was standing up to the stumps, but only wearing a cap rather than a helmet, could not react quickly enough to move out of the way of the flying bail and was struck in the left eye.
The South Africa team doctor, Dr Mohammed Moosajee said, "Mark [Boucher] suffered a laceration to the sclera [white area] of his left eye. He will undergo emergency exploratory surgery in the next few hours, after which the ophthalmologist will be able to determine the extent of the damage."
35-year old Boucher, who made his debut for South Africa against Pakistan in 1997 and holds the record for the most test dismissals by a wicket keeper, was replaced behind the stumps by AB De Villiers.
Boucher, who has played 144 tests for the Proteas, also averages over 30 with the bat and looked set to extend his test dismissal record against England this summer. South Africa face England in a three test series starting at the Oval on 19th July, before moving to Headingley on 2nd August and finishing at Lords on 16th August.
Those who bet on sport are still waiting to find out whether or not Boucher will be fit for any of the test series, but with injuries of this nature, cricket becomes a secondary concern. If Boucher is not able to line up against England then De Villers, who has kept wicket in both test matches and one day internationals before, may be asked to continue in the role.