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  • Somerset v South Africans, Taunton, 1st day

Boucher injury scare ahead of England Tests

Firdose Moonda at Taunton
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Mark Boucher suffered the injury when Gemaal Hussain was bowled by Imran Tahir © Getty Images
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Mark Boucher required immediate surgery on his left eye after being struck by a bail on the opening day of South Africa's first tour match against Somerset at Taunton. Boucher suffered the injury when Gemaal Hussain was bowled by Imran Tahir at the end of the 46th over and the bail ricocheted into his face.

He was taken to the hospital minutes after leaving the field and, following assessment by an ophthalmologist, was booked in for surgery at 6pm on Monday evening. Team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said the full extent of the damage will only be known later.

AB de Villiers took over the wicketkeeping against Somerset but it seems highly likely that South Africa will have to call up another gloveman with Thami Tsolekile, who was nationally contracted from April 1, the likeliest candidate.

Tsolekile recently played for the South Africa A side in the two unofficial Tests against Sri Lanka A, and has also been named in the squad to travel to Ireland to shadow the senior side from the third Test onwards.

Tsolekile last played for South Africa in 2004 when he represented the country in three Tests, including one against England. Since then he has changed franchises from the Cape Town-based Cobras to the Johannesburg team, Lions, where he has spent the last three seasons. Tsolekile was earmarked as the successor to Boucher, who indicated he would retire after the England series, when he was awarded a central contract and was chosen to play for the A side.

He equalled the South African record for the most catches in a first-class innings when he claimed eight in the first innings of the match against Sri Lanka A, which ended in a draw on Monday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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