5 Instances When Cricketers Braved Their Injuries To Play The Game
Injuries are a part and parcel of the cricket game and we have witnessed devastating injuries over the years. From broken jaws to limbs and players colliding with each other, the cricketing world has seen all. The world has also seen the sad demise of Raman Lamba and Phil Hughes on the cricket fields.
Meanwhile, there are also instances when individuals continue to play despite carrying injuries. They go through all the pain, stick in there and sometimes even win the match for their teams. Most recently, it was Shane Watson who battled a bloodies knee to almost win it for Chennai Super Kings but fell short by one run.
On that note, let us take a look at five instances when cricketers braved their injuries to continue playing for their team:
Anil Kumble (Windies vs India at Antigua, 2002)
Anil Kumble is one of the toughest cricketers to play the game of cricket. His grit and determination are unparallel to others. While batting against Windies at Antigua, Kumble was hit on the mouth by a bouncer from Mervyn Dillon. Despite spitting out blood continuously, Kumble continued to bat showing his passion for playing for the country.
Later on, after the end of the innings, the leg-spinner found out that he has broken his jaw. While others will take a step back and concentrate on rehabilitation, Kumble came out to bowl with a bandaged face, the very next day. He bowled 14 overs and even got the wicket of Brian Lara in that innings.
Graeme Smith (Australia vs South Africa at Sydney, 2009)
Sydney is a bowler’s paradise, and the then Australia pace attack had the ability to terrorise any batting unit in the world. Batting first, the host managed to post 394 in the first innings. In reply, Graeme Smith gave South Africa off to a flying start scoring 30 runs at a strike-rate of 100.
However, Mitchell Johnson sent down a destructive bouncer that struck Smith on his left hand and eventually breaking it. The Proteas succumbed to 327 runs before the Aussies set up a massive target of 376 runs. The South African batsmen fought hard for the draw, but Dale Steyn was the ninth man out with around nine overs left in the game.
Just when Australia thought they have won the match, Smith walked out from the dressing room with a plaster. The southpaw took injections and painkiller and showed enough resolute to almost salvage a draw. After giving away a few opportunities, Johnsons snicked one past Smith to end the 17-ball knock.
Gary Kirsten (Pakistan vs South Africa at Lahore, 2003-04)
Gary Kirsten received a major jolt when a dangerous bouncer from Shoaib Akhtar took the southpaw by surprise and smashed his face. Kirsten went down to his knees soon as the whole Pakistan side came down to check on his well-being. He had to retire hurt for 53, while x-rays soon revealed that he had a broken nose.
Pakistan took a crucial 81-run lead before the Proteas lost their first four wickets and were striving at 149 for four. This saw Kirsten walk out in the middle with his face hardly recognisable with all the cut marks. However, he showed enough determination to score a 46-run knock before getting out.
Although Pakistan took the match home, but it was Kirsten’s gritty knock which was the highlight of the Test match.
Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians at Hyderabad, 2019)
The final of the Indian Premier League 2019 between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians witnessed Shane Watson battle his bloodied knee to almost win it for Chennai. Batting first, Mumbai Indians could only manage 149 runs at the end of their 20 overs. The former Australian cricketer suffered bruises on his knees while fielding during the first innings.
Meanwhile, he didn’t inform anybody and came out to bat battling his injury alone. He scored 80 runs before getting out in the final over which give Mumbai Indians their fourth IPL title. Watson’s pant was full of blood and had to take six stitches after the end of the game, which only stamps his love and passion for this game even at this age.
Ian Bell (England vs Bangladesh at Bristol, 2010)
England batsman Ian Bell braved a broken foot to come out to bat at no 11 alongside Jonathan Trott who was batting at 90. Meanwhile, this is the only instance of a cricketer braving his injury during a fifty-over game.
In their chase of 237 runs set by Bangladesh, the English team were 227 for nine before Bell came out with a broken foot. He suffered that injury while fielding during Bangladesh’s innings. England needed ten runs off the final over, and he did not face a single ball. After taking two doubles off the first two balls, Trott edged one behind for 94 as England went down by five runs despite Bell’s bravery.