South African wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile has been called up to replace Mark Boucher ahead of the forthcoming Test series against England following the veteran’s enforced retirement.
Boucher decided to end his 15-year international career on Tuesday after a serious eye injury suffered during a warm-up game against Somerset left him needing three hours of surgery.
The 35-year-old was struck by a flying bail while standing up to the stumps and was immediately taken to hospital with blood apparently coming from his eye.
Boucher is set to return to South Africa to begin his recovery and Tsolekile will join up with the squad ahead of the three-Test series which starts at The Oval next week.
However, the 31-year-old is unlikely to play in the first Test after coach Gary Kirsten claimed AB de Villiers would initially take over the gloves.
Tsolekile’s call-up had been expected after he was handed a central contract earlier this year.
“Thami has done very well with both the Lions and South Africa A for a couple of seasons, culminating in his South African record eight catches in an innings this past week,” said Cricket South Africa selection convener Andrew Hudson.
“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 has three Test caps, all of which came in 2004 when Boucher was sidelined, while he has 132 first-class appearances.