South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher has been forced to retire from international cricket due to the eye injury he picked up playing against Somerset at Taunton.
His left eyeball was ruptured after he was struck by a bail on the opening day of the tour match and after he underwent surgery, he has called time on his international career.
A statement read on his behalf by Proteas captain Graeme Smith explained:
"It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play International cricket again.
"I had prepared for this UK tour as well, if not better than I have prepared for any tour in my career. I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently.
"I have a number of thank yous to make to people who have made significant contributions during my International career, which I will do in due course.
"For now I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt support during the past 24 hours.
"I am deeply touched by all the well wishes. I wish the team well in the UK, as I head home and onto a road of uncertain recovery."
Boucher ends his career having played 146 Tests, 290 One-Day Internationals and 25 Twenty20 Internationals for South Africa since making his debut in 1997.
He holds the world record for Test dismissals - 532 catches and 23 stumpings for both South Africa and one Test for the ICC World XI - and hit the winning runs when South Africa chased a target of 435 to beat Australia in a decisive One-Day International in Johannesburg in 2006.
He captained South Africa on five occasions, in three Tests against Australia in 2002, a Test against Bangladesh in 2002 and finally a One-Day International against Pakistan in 2003.
He was a member of South Africa's World Cup squads in 1999, 2003, 2007 and the ICC World Twenty20 squads in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
He begin his first-class career with Border in 1995, subsequently going on to represent Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.
AB de Villiers is expected to take over wicket-keeping duties for the Test series against England, which begins at The Oval on 19th July.
South Africa are yet to name a replacement in the touring squad.
© Cricket World 2012
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