South African Cricket Player Has Career Ended By Freak Eye Injury (Video)

mark boucher cricket player eye injuryDon’t worry, you don’t need to know a lot about cricket—a strange and mercurial game to most North American sports fans—to appreciate this story. In fact, you don’t even need to care about sports (though I assume you do). You just need to have a heart.

In England, a South African cricket player named Mark Boucher suffered a freak eye injury that brought an unexpected end to his very successful career. He was there with the South African National Cricket Team on an exhibition tour against English club teams, and on Monday they were playing a match against Somerset.

You see, Boucher was a wicketkeeper. In cricket the bowler tries to throw the ball past the batter and hit the wickets, and the wicketkeeper is there catch the ball. So the bowler is like a baseball pitcher, and the wicketkeeper is like a catcher.

On Monday, South African bowler Imran Tahir delivered a nasty “leg-spinner” that the Somerset batter swung at and missed. Unfortunately, the guy’s bat hit the wicket.

Now, a wicket is made up of 5 separate wooden pieces—three vertical “stumps,” which are connected by two “bails” in between them. The bails are small, and look like this:

cricket bails

When the bat hit the wicket, it sent the bails flying. And one of them hit Boucher in the eye.

He was treated immediately on-field, but was soon sent to the hospital for emergency surgery. Not long afterwards, reading the writing on the wall, the 35-year-old cricketer released a statement thanking everyone for their support and announcing his official retirement.

Here’s video of the incident:

So that’s a bummer, isn’t it? Hardly the way a pro athlete wants to end his career.

Hat Tip – [BBC]

Tags: career-ending injury, Cricket, injuries, mark boucher, South Africa, Sports Injuries,