Mark Boucher

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Mark Boucher
Boucher playing his last game for South Africa against Somerset in July 2012.
Personal information
Full name Mark Verdon Boucher
Born (1976-12-03) 3 December 1976 (age 41)
East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Nickname Bouch, Mr. 555 (number of Test Dismissals)
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right arm medium
Role Wicket-keeper
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 267) 17 October 1997 v Pakistan
Last Test 3 January 2012 v Sri Lanka
ODI debut (cap 46) 16 January 1998 v New Zealand
Last ODI 28 October 2011 v Australia
ODI shirt no. 9
T20I debut (cap 2) 21 October 2005 v New Zealand
Last T20I 10 May 2010 v Pakistan
Domestic team information
Years Team
1995/96–2002/03 Border
2004/05-2012 Warriors
2009–2010 Royal Challengers Bangalore
2011 Kolkata Knight Riders
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I LA
Matches 147 295 25 365
Runs scored 5,515 4,686 268 6,218
Batting average 30.30 28.57 17.86 28.19
100s/50s 5/35 1/26 0/0 2/35
Top score 125 147* 36* 147*
Balls bowled 8
Wickets 1
Bowling average 6.00
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/6
Catches/stumpings 532/23 403/22 18/1 484/31
Source: Cricinfo, 10 September 2017

Mark Verdon Boucher (born 3 December 1976) is a former South African cricketer, who played all three formats of the game. Boucher holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper, with 532 catches.

He has represented Border, Warriors, South Africa, Africa XI, ICC World XI and Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

He had been a regular feature of the South African side since the 1997/1998 tour to Australia, until his retirement from international cricket in July 2012 after a serious eye injury against Somerset.[1]

Early life

Born in East London, Boucher was educated at Selborne College where he was coached by Richard Pybus.[2]

International career

Wicket-keeping role

From the time he replaced Dave Richardson until his retirement, Boucher was South Africa's first-choice wicketkeeper, and is widely regarded as one of, if not, the greatest wicketkeepers South Africa has ever had.[citation needed] He holds the record for the most dismissals (catches and stumpings) in Test cricket.[3] He reached the record originally when he overtook the former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy in the first test of the Bank Alfalah Test Series versus Pakistan in Karachi on 3 October 2007 when he stumped Umar Gul off the bowling of Paul Harris. He then lost the record to Adam Gilchrist before regaining it when he caught Mushfiqur Rahim of Bangladesh in February 2008.[4]

Boucher is also third[5] on the all-time list in One Day Internationals.

Batting credentials

He once held the record for the highest score by a nightwatchman in Test cricket with 125 for South Africa v Zimbabwe at Harare in November 1999.[6] On 12 March 2006 he hit the winning runs for South Africa against Australia in what had been the Greatest One Day International ever played.[7]

Later in 2006, on 20 September, he made his maiden ODI century, hitting an unbeaten 147 against Zimbabwe from a mere 68 balls. His hundred came up off just 44 balls, the second-fastest ODI century ever by a South African after AB de Villiers. Boucher did benefit, however, from some very poor Zimbabwean fielding, being dropped no fewer than six times during his innings.[8] He has played over one hundred consecutive ODIs for his country and is one of only eleven players, including Hansie Cronjé and Shaun Pollock, to achieve this.[9]

In February 2007 he and Jacques Kallis combined to hit Mohammad Asif for 28 runs off an over in an ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion. It broke the South African record for most runs off an over which was previously held by both Shaun Pollock and Graeme Smith with 27. However, this was later broken by Herschelle Gibbs with 36 runs off one over, the most possible without no-balls or wides.[10]

Vice captaincy

In the period while the team was under Shaun Pollock's leadership, Boucher was the regular vice-captain of the team and lead the team in tests four times. These matches include a victory over Australia, an achievement which Pollock could not manage.

Breaking records

Boucher started his 2007 Cricket World Cup campaign in good form with a 21-ball half century, the then fastest in World Cup history (before being beaten by Brendon McCullum's 20-ball effort six days later) – scoring 75 not out against the Netherlands as South Africa scored 353 for 4 wickets in a rain-shortened World Cup match. However, this was overshadowed by Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes in an over, the 3rd time ever in world cricket and first time in a One Day International match, and thus in the World Cup.[11]

He became the first wicketkeeper in the history of test cricket to reach the milestone of 400 dismissals when he caught Danish Kaneria off the bowling of Makhaya Ntini on 10 October 2007 in the second test of the Bank Alfalah Test Series against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.[12]

Mark Boucher training at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2009

Despite being South Africa's consistent wicket-keeper for a long time, age meant that batsman AB de Villiers was given a chance with the gloves and he impressed. However de Villiers is one of the team's best outfielders and therefore Boucher continued to feature in the team.

He participated in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 and the South African coach Corrie van Zyl said that both Boucher and Herschelle Gibbs have the chance to get back in the team. He stated that Boucher will get his chance in the team provided that he performs in the domestic ODI tournament and that both of them had a good chance in playing for the 2011 Cricket World Cup [13] He was however still selected for the Test series against Pakistan and continues to be South Africa's number one test wicket-keeper [14] Also during that time Boucher recovered from his six-week shoulder injury and stated that he is desperate for a return to international cricket. He stated that his main aim was to participate in the 2011 Cricket World Cup [15]

Eye injury and subsequent retirement

Boucher is surrounded by the South African team immediately after suffering his eye injury against Somerset in 2012.

Mark Boucher suffered a serious eye injury on 9 July 2012, after being struck on his left eye by a bail.[16] He was not wearing a protective helmet or glasses when he was struck by the bail after leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled Somerset's Gemaal Hussain.[17] Following surgery to the eyeball, Boucher was ruled out of the rest of the tour. Due to the severity of the injury, Boucher—who had planned to retire at the end of the tour—retired from International Cricket on 10 July.[18][19]

There was damage to the retina, so it was felt that there was a chance for Boucher to recover some vision in the damaged eye.[20] After undergoing two operations on his injured eye, surgeons announced that they were "cautiously optimistic".[21]


Tributes included comments from Shaun Pollock and Kevin Pietersen. Pollock congratulated him on a great career, while Pietersen called for more support from fans and those involved in sports, saying "Let’s keep it going! Bouch is a fighter!".[22]

In May 2017, he was named Coach of the Year at Cricket South Africa's annual awards.[23]

  • South Africa Player of the Year 1998
  • South Africa Player of the Year 2000
  • South Africa Player of the Year 2006
  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2009


  • He also holds the record for the most number of dismissals as wicketkeeper in all forms of international cricket(999)[24]
  • Holds the record for the most catches taken by a wicketkeeper in all forms of international cricket(952)[25]
  • Holds the record for playing the most number of T20 innings without a career duck(76)[26]
  • Most byes conceded by a wicketkeeper in a T20I innings(15)[27]
  • He along with Justin Kemp set the record for the highest 6th wicket stand in ICC Champions Trophy history(131)[28]

International centuries

Test centuries

Test centuries of Mark Boucher
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Start date Result
[1] 100 16  West Indies South Africa Centurion, South Africa SuperSport Park 15 January 1999 Won
[2] 125 21  Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Harare, Zimbabwe Harare Sports Club 11 November 1999 Won
[3] 108 24  England South Africa Durban, South Africa Kingsmead Cricket Ground 26 December 1999 Drawn
[4] 122* 70  West Indies South Africa Cape Town, South Africa Newlands Cricket Ground 2 January 2004 Drawn
[5] 117 120  Bangladesh South Africa Centurion, South Africa SuperSport Park 26 November 2008 Won

ODI centuries

One Day International centuries of Mark Boucher
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Start date Result
[1] 147* 220  Zimbabwe South Africa Potchefstroom, South Africa Senwes Park 20 September 2006 Won

Coaching career

he was appointed as wicket keeping consultant for Kolkata Knight Riders

International awards

One Day International Cricket

Man of the Match awards

S No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 New Zealand Adelaide Oval, Adelaide 27 January 2002 57* (32 balls: 3x4, 2x6) ; WK 1 Ct.  South Africa won by 93 runs.[29]
2 Zimbabwe New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 25 February 2005 49 (29 balls: 4x4, 3x6) ; WK  South Africa won by 165 runs.[30]
3 Zimbabwe Senwes Park, Potchefstroom 20 September 2006 147* (68 balls: 8x4, 10x6) ; WK 2 ct.  South Africa won by 171 runs.[31]


  1. ^ "Boucher calls it a day after eye injury". Wisden India. 10 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2009 – Mark Boucher". Cricinfo. 
  3. ^ "Most dismissals as wicketkeeper in test cricket". cricinfo. 
  4. ^ South Africa on brink of victory BBC News retrieved 25 February 2008
  5. ^ "Records | One-Day Internationals | Wicketkeeping records | Most dismissals in career | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  6. ^ 2nd Test: Zimbabwe v South Africa at Harare, 11–14 Nov 1999 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
  7. ^ AUS vs SA, 12/3/2006 BBC News retrieved 25 February 2008
  8. ^ Boucher blitz blows Zimbabwe away Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
  9. ^ Most consecutive ODIs. Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
  10. ^ Most runs off one over retrieved 25 February 2008
  11. ^ SA vs NET, World Cup 2007 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
  12. ^ Pakistan v South Africa at Lahore, 08-12 Oct 2007 Cricinfo retrieved 25 February 2008
  13. ^ "Boucher needs to improve in limited-overs – van Zyl". Cricinfo. 23 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Colin Ingram gets maiden limited-overs call-up". Cricinfo. 21 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Boucher working towards limited-overs return". Cricinfo. 6 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Boucher ruled out of England tour". Wisden India. 10 July 2012. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Mark Boucher suffers eye injury in South Africa tour match". BBC. 9 July 2012. 
  18. ^ South Africa's Mark Boucher ruled out of England Test series BBC News retrieved 10 July 2012
  19. ^ "Mark Boucher retired from international cricket". 10 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Boucher may not lose vision in injured eye". 15 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Mark Boucher's second eye operation 'very positive'". 19 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "World hails Boucher, a South African hero". Wisden India. 10 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "De Kock dominates South Africa's awards". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "Most dismissals as wicketkeeper in all forms of international cricket". cricinfo. 
  25. ^ "Most catches as wicketkeeper in all forms of international cricket". cricinfo. 
  26. ^ "Records / Twenty20 matches / Batting records / No ducks in career". cricinfo. 
  27. ^ "Records / Twenty20 Internationals / Wicketkeeping records records / Most byes conceded in an innings". cricinfo. 
  28. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | ICC Champions Trophy (ICC KnockOut) | Highest partnerships by wicket | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "2001–2002 VB Series – 9th Match – New Zealand v South Africa – Adelaide". 
  30. ^ "2004–2005 South Africa v Zimbabwe – 1st Match – Johannesburg". 
  31. ^ "2006–2007 South Africa v Zimbabwe – 4th Match – Potchefstroom". 

External links

  • Mark Boucher's official site
  • Mark Boucher at CricketArchive (subscription required)
  • Mark Boucher at ESPNcricinfo
Preceded by
Shaun Pollock
South African Test cricket captain
Succeeded by
Shaun Pollock
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