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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ARVC pushes James Taylor to go Beau Casson's way !!!

Today at Bangalore, RCB blazed all guns – the 19th over peaked – it was not Chris Gayle, DeVilliers, Virat Kohli or Shane Watson, but the diminutive Sarfraz Naushad Khan – RCB were 186/4 … the 1st ball of Bhuvaneskumar to Kedar Jadhav – a no ball, a beamer, hit over backward point for 4; 2nd – 1 run; 18.2 – Sarfraz played a scoop over short fineleg for 4;  18.3 Sarfraz bends connects another scoop for 4;  18.4 – low full toss, Sarfraz opened the face of the bat and steered it over 3rd man for 6; 5th another scoop for 4 and 6th hit over extra cover for 4 – 28 runs of Bhuvi over !!!

In Sept 2015, England beat Australia by 93 runs in ODI  no. 3682 at Old Trafford, Manchester – a short stylish JWA Taylor was the man of the match for his century.

There is a popular belief that ‘every train to Madras Egmore brings along at least half a dozen of girls from rural villages, aspiring to become heroines’ – and out of tens of thousands, only a handful end up getting their face shown on the screen.  Equally true in Cricket also – after School / College or University level (or sometimes without this graduation); League level entry itself is tough, tougher is playing for the State, then for the Zone, then for the Nation.  Many of them would like to play for IPL franchisee rather than the State also could be truth.  – and what is success ? 

In  Apr 2012, I had posted the sad  story of a young aspirant who retired from all forms of Cricket at the age of 28.   A story of a man  whose career began at the age of 20, rose to heights and at 29  could  never again deliver more than the occasional ball in the nets as a coaching aid.  He played 53 first-class games and had the honour of playing One Test that too against the West Indies in 2008 – it is the story of Beau Casson.  He enjoyed success,  took 123 first class wickets and in 2007-08 claimed  29 wickets in nine games to finish as NSW's second highest wicket-taker in a triumphant Pura Cup campaign.  In his debut Test, which turned out to be the only one, he took 3 wickets.

You may not have read or heard of ‘Tetralogy of Fallot’Casson was afflicted by this which required surgery at a very young age. The condition worsened in 2012 and, according to his doctors, it could turn life threatening if he continues to play. In October, Casson had to leave a Sheffield Shield match between NSW and South Australia at the Adelaide Oval after a recurrence of the problem.    Cricket NSW Chief Executive rightly said "Beau's decision to retire is very sad news, however, his health is all that matters.  Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a congenital heart defect which  results in low oxygenation of blood due to the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in the left ventricle via the VSD and preferential flow of the mixed blood from both ventricles through the aorta because of the obstruction to flow through the pulmonary valve.

Life is cruel to some and quite unfortunately most of the fortunate people do not understand the value of the fortune that they  have been endowed with and end up smirking at smaller issues. 

Now that record is beaten - Cricket is reeling with the news that James Taylor, one of the most popular figures within the England set-up, forced to retire with immediate effect because of a serious heart condition.  Taylor, 26, has been diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia, a similar condition to that suffered by footballer Farbrice Muamba, who collapsed while playing for Bolton against Spurs five years ago.

It is a devastating blow for a batsman who had finally established himself in the England Test side and was a regular in limited-overs squads having battled for a regular place for four years and been a consistent run scorer with both Notts and the England Lions. Taylor was a diminutive but classy batsman who played both Test and one-day cricket for England.

'Safe to say this has been the toughest week of my life,' Taylor tweeted this morning. 'My world is upside down. But I'm here to stay and I'm battling on!' His message was completed with '#lifestooshort' and two emjois - one of a face with a tongue stuck out, and the other with a face with a thermometer in its mouth - a touch of upbeat humour in trying circumstances. In another similar message, this time posted on Instagram, he shared a picture of himself lying on a hospital bed, with electrocardiogram sensors attached to his torso. This message was signed off '#WhenLifeGivesYouLemons'.

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia (ARVC) is a rare disease of the heart muscle, and an inherited condition. It affects around one in 5,000 of the population and accounts for a significant proportion of deaths by sudden cardiac arrest in the young. Symptoms are often brought on by physical exertion. The disease causes changes to the heart muscle cells, which then affect the electrical signals passed through the heart, causing irregular heart beats. The condition is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time unless treated.

Taylor is known as one of the most hard-working and fittest members of the England team and regularly scored highly in the bleep tests that monitored the fitness of the England team. The diminutive Taylor, who is 5 ft 6in tall and known universally in cricket as 'Titch', was batting for Notts in their early season match against Cambridge University last week and when he was dismissed immediately headed to the nets before telling the team physio that something did not feel quite right.

The  full severity of the condition has been revealed to Taylor and his family in the last week and he has spent the last few days in hospital before he was told there was no option but to retire and concentrate on the operation which will hopefully let him lead a normal life.  Sad and cruel quirk of fate for this key member of the side that won in South Africa this winter, particularly excelling in the field at short leg, where he said he wanted to become the best in the world in that position.

With grief – S. Sampathkumar

12th Apr 2016

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