Lens may give back 50 per cent of vision

Calcutta: Mark Boucher, the No.1 ’keeper overall (Tests and ODIs), may regain up to “50 per cent” of the vision in his left eye after a “lens” is inserted in April.

He’s already had a few surgeries.

“Right now, Mark still can’t see properly from the eye which got struck by a bail (in Taunton last July)... Hopefully, up to 50 per cent of his vision will return after the lens has been inserted,” Boucher’s business manager Donne Commins told The Telegraph on Saturday morning.

Later in the day, the 36-year-old Boucher was feted by teammates at tea on Day III of the ongoing Test at Newlands.

The team presented Boucher with a framed shirt of captain Graeme Smith, the one with the emotional ‘We miss you Bouch’ message. It was worn the day South Africa regained the No.1 ranking in Test cricket, in England.

Brief speeches were made, on the Newlands turf, and Boucher used the occasion to thank “everybody” for their overwhelming support and affection.

Boucher suffered the career-ending injury during a tour match, paying a heavy price for not wearing a helmet when standing up to Imran Tahir.

He’d also taken off his sunglasses.

“I got hit by one of the bails, not the ball... It had begun to drizzle, so I’d taken off the sunglasses... I got struck soon afterwards...

“Look, this injury could have happened at the start of my career, not towards the end, after playing 147 Tests and 295 ODIs... That way, I’m grateful (to God),” Boucher said, speaking exclusively.

He added: “Everything happens for a reason... Life doesn’t spell it out, you find out... At the same time, you learn that there’s more to life than what you’ve been doing...

“What people say and do may touch you... Equally, your acts could touch others... I was 35 when I had this injury, but there have been so many who’ve lost an arm or leg or both legs from childhood...

“There are examples of men and women who’ve overcome odds to accomplish things... We’ve got to see them as inspirational.”

According to Boucher, he’d been in “shock” for the first few days after the injury, but then began looking at the changed circumstances as yet another “challenge.”

Asked if he had a message for ’keepers, Boucher was quick to answer: “We’re a special breed... Practice does make perfect, so always give 100 per cent.”

That’s what Boucher did, right through his international career which lasted 15 years.

Now, of course, he’s focused on doing his bit to save the endangered rhino.


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