Cape Town, July 12 : Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting CEO Jacques Faul led the national body's tributes to veteran wicketkeeper Mark Boucher who announced his retirement from international cricket following a freak accident.
Boucher's retirement follows a serious eye injury he suffered during the opening day of the UK tour match against Somerset, which will preclude him from playing international cricket again.
He retires as statistically the most successful wicketkeeper of all time with 999 dismissals (one of them as a fielder) in all international formats of the game, including a world record 555 dismissals in Test match cricket.
"It is sad indeed that Mark Boucher's retirement from international cricket has had to be announced under such untimely circumstances," commented Faul.
"We were all looking forward to the contribution he was going to make to the Proteas' Test series in England and the challenge for the world No 1 ranking and to salute him on achieving the landmark of 150 Test matches," Sport24 quoted him, as saying.
South African Cricketers' Association CEO Tony Irish said: "Yesterday and this morning we also received from the players' associations around the world various tributes to Mark Boucher. All of them wanted to say something about this cricketer and his contribution to the game on behalf of their players. This is an indication of the mark he made with players all over the world.
"Cricket is a very subtle game. The real value of a player both on and off the field, is usually best understood by the players themselves, as teammates and as opponents. I want to say this to Mark: the players have spoken, you have earned their respect."
"From a players' association point of view I want to thank Mark for his contribution to the players' cause. From the early days of SACA, Bouch was always in the forefront of standing up for players' rights. He never shied away from a challenge. He is a former president of our organisation who was elected by the players. He has been a true professional, on and off the field.
"We in South Africa love to see warriors and fighters in our national teams. Mark epitomised that for so many people. He has been the bull terrier of the Proteas (or as AB put it our staffie) for longer than most of us can remember." (ANI)