10 Jul 2012

Boucher suffers freak eye injury during South Africa's tour opener

6:15 am on 10 July 2012

TheSouth Africa cricketer Mark Boucher is set to undergo eye surgery today after suffering a freak accident during the first day of the Proteas' tour opener against English county Somerset.

The 35-year-old was hit in the face when a bail ricocheted off the stumps as Gemaal Hussain was bowled by legspinner Imran Tahir.

Boucher was standing up to the stumps, but he was wearing a cap rather than a helmet.

After receiving treatment on the field, Boucher was helped off with blood coming from his left eye.

His place behind the stumps was taken by AB de Villiers, who has kept wicket in international matches for South Africa.

The tourists later revealed Boucher had suffered a cut to the eyeball and will undergo emergency exploratory surgery to determine the extent of the damage.

The former England wicket-keeper Paul Downton eventually had to retire after he too was hit in the face by a bail while standing up to the stumps in 1990.