Former South African Cricketer, Author and Environmentalist
Mark Boucher is a former South African cricketer, who holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper. He was educated at Selborne College and has represented Border, Africa XI, ICC World XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders of the Indian Premier League, and South Africa. He had been a regular feature of the South African side since the 1997/1998 tour to Australia, until his retirement from international cricket in July 2012 after a serious eye injury. True to his character of gritty determination, Bouch has rededicated his life to a new cause, that of the environment and particularly the critically endangered rhino.
Born into a sports-mad family in East London, he excelled in squash, tennis and rugby before choosing cricket as his preferred sport. His extraordinary achievements on the field are well known – he was voted SA player of the year in 1998, 2000 and 2006. What is not so well known, and makes up much of this book, are the behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes – stories of staring down the barrel of defeat and of celebrating victory; of developing family-like bonds with teammates Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and others. And of the incident when a senior player took him aside after his first game of cricket for South Africa and bluntly told him he was the worst wicketkeeper ever to play in the national side. Over a decade later, when Bouch finally retired with a plethora of records under his belt and to huge acclaim from the public, he took grim satisfaction in relating this piece of history.
What ultimately emerges is the image of a man who always fought for the underdog, whose never-say-die attitude inspires those around him.