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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cricket Injuries - Phil Hughes critical - sad remembrance of Sabina Park, Contractor, Lamba and ...

When I faced Holding, I received 4 bouncers in an over and a beamer… the next over from him was the same – when he again said the beamer had slipped, I understood that this was a strategy to intimidate.  Lloyd fearing his future as Captain finding us 98 for no loss was desperate and utterly frustrated. ……………. The carnage ensued .. in the pavilion, there was none to attend to Anshuman Gaekwad.  Jamaican ticket authorities showed no regard for the seriousness of injury.  The whole thing was sickening.  Never have I seen such cold-blooded and indifferent behaviour of Cricket officials, and the spectators to put it mildly, were positively inhuman. – extracted from Sunil Gavaskar’s description of the carnage at Sabina Park. I have posted earlier on ‘worst injuries on Cricketing field’ - In his debut series, Sachin was injured and batted with blood and rose to eminence.  There are very many other stories but a very harsh  one was that of Contractor and the worst being that of Raman Lamba.

Nariman Jamshedji "Nari" Contractor , the left handed opener born in Godhra,  had two ribs broken by Brian Statham at Lords in 1959.   Contractor led India to a series win against England in 1961-62 and captained the side to West Indies the same season. There, in the match against Barbados, he was struck at the back of the skull  by Griffith  and was unconscious for six days, requiring a blood transfusion; his life was saved but his international career was abruptly ended.

Today Australian batsman Phil Hughes is reportedly in a state of induced coma after being struck on his head during a Sheffield Game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.   The 25-year-old cricketer - wearing a helmet - attempted to hook a rising fast delivery from Sean Abbott but was hit on the side of his head instead. He stood on the pitch for a few moments before collapsing face first on the ground. Michael Clarke went to the hospital in a show of support for Hughes' family. His teammates and Coach stated that their thoughts and prayers were with Hughes.  Cricket Australia, in a statement, stated that Team India had also conveyed support for Hughes.

As one could recall, only recently, Ahmed Shehzad, the Pak opener was hit on the helmet by a bouncer by Corey Anderson on the 2nd day of 1st Test against NZ at Abu dhabi – he was diagnosed with a minor skull fracture. The injury caused Shehzad so much pain that he dropped his bat on to the stumps as he wheeled away and collapsed to the ground. He was dismissed hit wicket, after scoring a career-best 176, and walked off the field holding his jaw.

Indians cannot forget  how Clive Lloyd unleashed a torrent of fast, dangerous, short-pitched bowling on India, sent half their top-order to the hospital and caused captain Bishan Singh Bedi to 'surrender' the match.  In that Series, after  a hammering in the Barbados Test, Bedi’s men bounced back hard in the next two matches in Port of Spain. Gavaskar made 156 in the drawn second Test, giving India a 161-run lead. With their confidence high, India created history in the third Test chasing a historic 403 thanks to hundreds from Gavaskar and Viswanath and Mohinder’s 85.    In that Jamaica Test, as Gavaskar describes – the Indian dressing room resembled ‘wounded soldiers’ room’.  Gaekwad remained unattended for a while as manager Umrigar had accompanied Vishwanath.  When Anshuman was transported, Brijesh Patel too accompanied with a mouth injury.   Gavaskar called it 'Barbarism in Kingston'.  First innings had to be declared at 306/6 ; in the 2nd Mohinder hit all  over the body made 60 – Indian innings ended at 97 with Kirmani not out and 5 batsmen (Gaekwad, Vishwanath, Patel, Bedi and Chandrasekhar – absent hurt) – actually it was not a declaration but surrender.

At Chepauk in an isolated incident in  Jan 1979 Herbert Chang,  of Chinese origin, played his lonely test at Chepauk and was  left bleeding in the mouth by a Karsan Ghavri bouncer.   Sadly, Raman Lamba playing club cricket at Dhaka  was hit on the forehead by a full blooded pull by Mehrab Hossain off left arm spinner Saifullah Khan while fielding at forward short leg, without a helmet.   He suffered an internal hemorrhage and slipped into coma, eventually died after 3 days. 

Perhaps what Contractor or Lamba were not fortunate enough - with three ambulances and a medical helicopter on standby for the match, Hughes was treated on the field immediately and was then taken to the boundary for further aid. He was then transferred to a St. Vincent's Hospital nearby. "He arrived in a critical condition and remains in a critical condition," a hospital spokesperson is quoted as saying.  It is said that Hughes arrived in the hospital in a ventilated state. With the Test series against India coming up, Hughes was expecting a Test call to replace an injured Michael Clarke. He was in good form and had hit 63 for South Australia against New South Wales before misjudging the bouncer. Play was suspended for the day as fellow Australian and other international cricketers tweeted their best wishes for the batsman.

Sean Abbot is a promising allrounder, who debuted for New South Wales at the age of 18.  A wicket-taking medium-fast bowler who also strikes the ball cleanly with the bat, Abbott was rewarded with a call-up to Australia's one-day and Twenty20 squads to play Pakistan in the UAE in 2014. Now after today’s incident,  Questions immediately arose as to how Hughes had been hurt given that he was wearing a helmet at the time, and whether the quality of helmet was good enough  but the videos of the incident reveals that the ball just missed the side of it, causing a serious impact the lower-left side of his head.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                     25th Nov. 2014.

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