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Boucher believes Gilchrist could have extended his career

Johannesburg, Feb 4 (UNI) A disappointed South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, whose record for most Test dismissals was overtook by Adam Gilchrist, said he wished the Australian had continued his illustrious career for some more time.

''I sent him a message to say how disappointed I was to hear that he was calling it a day, because the last time I saw him I told him he'd better keep his incredible career going so that we could have one last showdown at the end of the year,'' Boucher said.

''It was a big shock to hear he was going. But everyone knows how important his family is to him so I'm sure he made the right call.

I'll miss him,'' he added.

Boucher, 31, has plenty of time to reclaim his record with Gilchrist just three dismissals ahead of him at 416.

He added that the Australian along with his former team mate Jonty Rohdes has made a major contribution to World Cricket and took the standards of the game to another level.

''If I think of the great innovators of my time, guys who revolutionised the game and made people see it in a different way, I'd say Jonty Rhodes and Adam Gilchrist would be top of the pile.

''Jonty changed the way people thought of fielding and Gilly has set the bar so high for the next generation of keeper-batsman that it's almost unfair,'' he claimed.

South African captain Graeme Smith appreciated Gilchrist's gesture and said the keeper was regularly in touch with him.

''The way he made an effort to contact Boucher when he broke the world record was typical of him,'' Smith said.

''Gilly used to call me from time to time or send me messages commenting on our performances. Like when Jacques Kallis scored five hundreds in four Tests and he sent me a message saying, 'tell Jakes he's a freak'.

''I was always able to talk to him and socialise with him, to put cricket into perspective,'' he added.


Story first published: Monday, February 4, 2008, 13:05 [IST]
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