How we’ll remember Mark Boucher

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When someone retires, people are generally supposed to focus on that person’s attributes and this has been particularly true for Mark Boucher after his career was ended by a horrendous incident where a bail cut his eyeball. However, here at King Cricket we don’t have all that much lyrical waxation for Mark.

It’s not that we don’t like him or don’t rate him, because we do. It’s just that from our perspective his career has been characterised by low-key solidity and visible effort. We found him worthy and committed, but not especially eye-catching at any one moment.

We remember him best for the lesson he taught us about English wicketkeepers. His first tour to England was in 1998 and his wicketkeeping was bloody awful. It occurred to us afterwards that if he’d had to play half his matches in England, he’d have been dropped very early on in his career. This is a man who ended up with 999 international dismissals, so maybe we judge English wicketkeepers too harshly in what are trying conditions.

As a batsman, he was reasonable, but with the priceless quality of always appearing to be doing his absolute best. Having people like that in the opposition gives a match integrity and status. That is vital for spectators, so thanks for that Mark, and we do hope you recover okay.


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  1. Statistical anomaly: Boucher actually took 998 dismissals as wicketkeeper and one as outfielder.

    Oh, and – cricketers as annoying adverts. Mark Wowcher.

  2. ‘not especially eye-catching’

    *shakes head at KC’s poorly judged use of words*

  3. He’s one of those guys who make their debut looking like they just cannot be dropped because they have been around too long and no one can imagine what the team would look like without them.

    That is a talent I suppose.

    1. What’s wrong with “mark_butcher.jpg”?

      We spent ages coming up with that.

    2. That wasn’t deliberate, but that is the other thing we’ll remember him for.

  4. Just shows you can’t really plan these things – a week ago he was on track for 150 tests and 1000 dismissals, now he finishes as one of those statistical annoyances like Bradman’s 99.94. Future generations may look at the stats and wonder “why did’t he play just one more game to round it off?”.
    In any case he was a solid, if unspectacular keeper. These days the best actual glovemen are probably playing just below first class level, as with very few exceptions the first class or higher keepers seem to be selected as batsmen first.

    1. “…and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thi… oh, sorry Mark.”

  5. It looks like, after Sahin’s 100 internstional 100s, the “international somethings” stat is here to stay. Not only is the mass market cricinfo using it, but now the respected and recherche King Cricket has embraced it without detectable irony.

  6. Thank god for some sanity, KC.

    All the b/s about his career being cut short – he was about to retire FFS.

    But on a personal note, not a great to thing to have happened to anyone, of course. Get better and hope the eye recovers, Mark Boucher.

  7. “What are you averaging? You must know your average. 9? 10? 9.5, so we’ll give you ten.”

    What a bastard.

    1. Hahaha after I saw that video it inspired me to spend 5 minutes on to glance over our opponents stats before each game. If someone is having a bad run it’s a great line to use when fielding in close.

  8. The only really remarkable thing about Boucher was his face. He had this sort of perpetual worried expression, which went perfectly with his “man in the trenches” image.

    Other than that, all I seem to remember him doing was defending a ball that he shouldn’t have.

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