Surprised that Boucher never wore a helmet: Karim

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Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 12:00 [IST]
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Can relate to Boucher's pain: Karim

New Delhi, Jul 11: Former Indian wicket keeper, Saba Karim on Tuesday said that he could relate to South Africa's stumper Mark Boucher's pain as he had gone through a similar situation.

"It's really unfortunate but probably I can relate to his situation as I had gone through the same situation. The feeling gradually seeps in and I can tell you it is very difficult to accept initially," Karim, whose career was cut short by a serious eye injury during Asia Cup, told PTI on Tuesday.

Karim, who has represented India in 34 ODIs and a Test, was also surprised on the fact that Boucher never wore a helmet, while he was behind the stumps.

"I am surprised that he wasn't wearing a helmet which all 'keepers do nowadays. May be a bit low intensity as it was a game against county side. But again Imran Tahir is a bowler, who gets a lot of bounce from the wicket and keepers need to be careful. You feel bad knowing the world class performer that he has been," Karim said.

"I thought Boucher will make a comeback as he was hit in the white part of the eye and that too by the bail. I was hit on the retina and it was the leather ball. After my operation, I had zero vision in my eye.

Talking about his decision to quit international cricket due to an eye injury, Karim said it is indeed very painful to continue playing after the vision is affected as he had gone through a similar situation, which forced him to take a call on his international career as he had only 60% of his vision when he played his first Test.

There were similarities in both the stumpers' lives, as Karim had to call it quits after playing his only Test due to the persisting vision problem.

"Normally, it's a 6 by 6 vision that's ideal. When I came back and played my only Test, it was 6 by 18 which is about 60 percent of the vision. I knew my time was up," he said.

Karim also felt it was sad to see a champion forced to quit when he was just three matches short of playing his 150th Test and for one who had effected 999 dismissals.

"He had 999 dismissals and was just three games short of 150 Test matches which is phenomenal achievement for a wicketkeeper. This is the most tragic way that the career of a champion performer should end," he concluded.


Story first published:  Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 11:49 [IST]
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