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Cricket | SA Team

CSA, Proteas to honour Mark Boucher



Cricket South Africa (CSA), Proteas test squad sponsor Castle Lager and the Proteas team will dedicate day three of the second Sunfoil Series test match against Pakistan to retired wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

This will serve as a farewell day to honour Mark Boucher and thank him for his enormous contribution to South African cricket.

It’s also an opportunity to highlight Mark’s latest project and passion around the conservation of Rhinos.

On Boucher’s retirement from international cricket, he founded the SAB Boucher Conservation Non-Profit Company with the South African Breweries (SAB), specifically to raise the funds needed to register all of South Africa’s 18 000 rhinos on a national Rhino DNA database.

A robust database is crucial not only in the conservation management of the rhino population, but also in assisting law enforcement officials in linking suspected poachers to specific rhino crimes.

Identifying rhino DNA means that recovered horns can be linked to individual poaching cases by establishing a connection between the horn trafficker and a poaching incident or a poacher caught with horns in his possession and the carcass of an individual rhino.

The DNA database is run by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort.

To date, the system has been used to successfully prosecute a number of suspects of rhino poaching.

Although the NPC has only been operational for a few months, already approximately R340 000 – a third of the targeted R1 million in 12 months – has been raised by the Rhinos in Safe Hands campaign.

Patrons of the NPC include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Ian Player, Mavuso Msimang and Dr Ali Bacher.

Boucher’s career came to a tragic end during the Proteas tour of England last year when he suffered a bad eye injury during the opening tour match against Somerset at Taunton.

He retired, having claimed a staggering 999 dismissals across the three formats of international cricket. He also claimed one wicket as a bowler in a test match against the West Indies to round it up to 1 000!

The tribute is a joint initiative by CSA, Castle Lager and Boucher’s teammates and will reach a high point during the tea interval when Proteas Castle Lager test captain Graeme Smith makes a presentation to Boucher.

Boucher will also do a ‘Media Tour’ during which he will be interviewed live on SuperSport, will join the radio commentary team on SABC 2000 and will do an informal conference with the print media during the final session of play.

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