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Arthur disappointed for injured Boucher
Richard Sydenham
06:32 AEST Wed Jul 11 2012

Australia coach Mickey Arthur has paid tribute to the fighting spirit of his former charge Mark Boucher after the South Africa wicketkeeper was forced to retire from international cricket because of a freak eye injury.

Boucher, who was coached by Arthur when he was with the Proteas, was hit in the left eye by a bail in a tour match in England on Monday while standing up to spinner Imran Tahir.

The keeper required emergency surgery that lasted three hours and his future as a player must now be in doubt.

"I was really disappointed for him," Arthur told BBC.

"He finished on 999 international dismissals and just short of 150 Tests (147 to be exact).

"I know he wanted this tour to be his real swansong as a Test series, so really disappointing it ended this way for Mark.

"I have lots of memories as his coach, too many memories.

"I was really close to Mark, I had a special affinity for him. I knew his family very well, for a time we lived in the same city and I coached him at state level.

"I thought he was a fine cricketer, a guy you really wanted on your side, a guy that never, ever gave up, fought to the bitter end and that's how I'll always remember him.

"But they do need to get over it and I'm sure they will. He's going to be missed hugely though.

"He was always in there, up for a challenge - had a massive amount of fighting spirit.

"I've been in contact with him, and it is uncertain for him.

"Let's just hope that he gets his eyesight back and everything's good."