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Monday, December 8, 2014

"Eye" injuries in Cricket ~ men gets sight restored after 48 years !!!

In a selection trial, a batsman went for (mis)adventurous pull, missed the delivery completely and was profusely bleeding – about a decade or more ago, a promising batsman, got injured in his face in a league match – his eye was affected; though surgery was performed immediately and eye-sight restored, he was the never the batsman that he was promising to be.  In India’s Asia Cup campaign at Bangladesh, in a freak incident the wicket keeper - Syed Saba Karim  was hit below his right eye by a rising delivery from Anil Kumble. Kumble's googly shot up from a good length and grazed the flap of Bangladesh batsman Habibul Bashar's pad before hitting Karim's face.  A visibly dejected Karim,  had to be rushed home and was  then flown to Shankar Netralaya eye clinic in Madras for treatment.  The ball deflected off Habibul's pad, otherwise would have rested on the gloves. Sadly Sabha faded into oblivion.

In July 2012,  Thami Tsolekile, the Lions wicketkeeper,  got the chance to replace the acclaimed Mark Boucher in not so happy circumstances.  The replacement was necessitated by Boucher’s retirement  from cricket, following a severe eye injury sustained during the tour match against Somerset in Taunton. Boucher was struck by a bail and had to undergo surgery for a lacerated eyeball.

Mark Boucher was  a quality batsman; his stumped victims are far less indicative of the nature of the attack that South Africa have possessed for much of his career, sadly the odd spinner did his undoing.   Boucher had to leave the field at the end of the 46th over of Somerset's innings, when a googly from Imran Tahir hit the stumps and a dislodged bail struck Boucher in the left eye. He underwent a surgery – couple of days later in a statement read out by Graeme Smith, Boucher said: "It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. 
Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play international cricket again. Smith who had been his mate for many years paid rich tributes to his skills, both on the field and off it, motivating, inspiring and energizing the team.  The Lord's Test would have been his 150th appearance. Boucher  ended his career with  998 international dismissals, including 555 from 147 Tests, which is a record.

The extent of the injury was described as severe and the eyeball (globe of the eye) reportedly  was repaired during the operation – so a sad end came  to long illustrious career of Mark Verdon Boucher- ironically that was to be Imran Tahir’s first wicket of the tour -  the resulting flying bail caused something far more serious than just broken stumps.

Freak accidents are part of the game and the players are aware of such dangers.  In this backdrop the incident mentioned in Daily mail of a pensioner blinded in one eye after being struck by a cricket ball 48 years ago has sight restored after routine check-up uncovers easy way to fix it, sounds interesting.  Mail reports that Alan Read lost the sight in his left eye after being struck by a cricket ball was  36 when he was hit above his left eye while playing for a village team. Doctors at the time told him he would never see out of it ever again  - but  48 years later after a routine check was told his sight could be saved.  He underwent an operation to relieve the pressure from behind his left eye and can now boast of clear vision for the first time since the freak accident.

It is the story of Alan Read from Sowerby, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire,  who  was hit above his left eye with a cricket ball while playing for village team East Burgholt, in Suffolk. The happy ending is that he could regain the sight in his left eye, 48 years after being struck in the head. Mr Read, now 84, continued to work and play sport throughout his life while coming to terms with the fact he would never see again out of his left eye. However decades later when a cataract began to grow on his healthy eye, surgeons assessed the damaged one and realised they could give the pensioner his sight back after 48-years by relieving the pressure.

It is reported that his sight was restored after a three hour operation after he was sent to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and operated on by Dr Vaideanie Collins. Although the father-of-two can now boast of his clear vision for the first time since the accident, he said he had not longed for his sight to come back over the years and had to accept what had happened. Mr Read's wife, Jo, 85, said that because of his age she feared he might die during the operation, but was relieved when her husband came round; and was thrilled to know that his eye sight now is restored. 
Strange things do happen in life.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                     24th Nov. 2014.

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