• South Africa in England 2012

Tsolekile in as Boucher's replacement

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Thami Tsolekile will join the squad in England © AFP
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Thami Tsolekile, the Lions wicketkeeper, will replace Mark Boucher in South Africa's squad for the Test series in England. Tsolekile, however, is unlikely to play the first Test from July 19, with South Africa coach Gary Kirsten saying AB de Villiers will keep wicket at The Oval.

"Thami has done very well [for] both the Lions and South Africa A for a couple of seasons, culminating in his South African record [of] eight catches in an innings this past week," Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa's convener of selectors, said. "With AB de Villiers also able to fill the role of wicketkeeper in the Test series it gives the tour selectors options in this important position."

Tsolekile's inclusion was necessary because of Boucher's retirement from cricket, following a severe eye injury sustained during the tour match against Somerset in Taunton. Boucher was struck by a bail and had to undergo surgery for a lacerated eyeball.

Tsolekile, 31, played three Tests for South Africa in 2004, when Boucher was left out of the team. He scored only 47 runs in five innings and was dropped when Boucher made a comeback. Tsolekile has vast domestic experience, having played 132 first-class matches over a 13-year career that began in 1999. He has been second in line to the national team for years but did not get an opportunity because of Boucher's permanence in South Africa's plans.

Tsolekile was given a central contract in February, the first time CSA had contracted a second wicketkeeper in 13 years since contracts were first awarded in 1998.

During a recent game between South Africa A and Sri Lanka A in Durban, Tsolekile took eight catches in the first innings, a South African record.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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