If anyone in the Indian cricket fraternity can understand Mark Boucher's pain of calling it quits after serious eye injury, it is former India stumper Saba Karim.
"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.
But Karim who played a Test and 34 ODIs for India was "surprised" that Boucher wasn't wearing a helmet.
"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.
Asked to compare his injury with Boucher's, 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.
"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.
"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.