Last week, England batter Jonny Bairstow was playing golf on a day off in Leeds when he slipped on a tee box and fractured his leg. The injury means that he will not only miss the Third Test against South Africa at the Oval, but it has also ruled him out of the T20I World Cup in Australia.
He joins a long list of top cricketers who have found themselves out of action after suffering bizarre injuries. To prove that misery loves company, here are some of the others.
Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath had made a strong start to the 2009 Ashes series, helping his side win at Lord’s and taking his 500th Test wicket in the process. But, ahead of the Edgbaston Test, during his team’s traditional pre-match warm-up, he trod on a stray cricket ball, tore ligaments in his right ankle, and was forced to miss the rest of the series. In his absence, England recovered to win the Ashes.
He recovered, although Jimmy Anderson has recently surpassed his record of international wickets by a pace bowler.
Less than three years earlier, McGrath’s sometime international colleague, batter Matthew Hayden, was out jogging in a bid to keep himself fit whilst recovering from a finger injury. Unfortunately, he came upon a stray dog, which bit him, leaving a five-centimetre gash on his ankle. Not only did he miss the first match of the Ashes series, but he also had a rabies shot added to the bargain.
In 1998 West Indies batter and captain Jimmy Adams tour to South Africa did not survive the plane journey from the Caribbean unscathed. Whilst trying to slice a bread roll with a knife on the plane, he injured the tendons in his right hand. He went straight to hospital on landing, where doctors told him that his tour was finished.
Although he was born in Guyana, all-rounder Lewis played for England. During the 1993-1994 tour of the West Indies, he asked fellow bowler Devon Malcolm to shave all his hair off, and then took to the field in the Antigua Test without sunscreen or a hat. He seemed to believe that his ethnic heritage would protect him from sunstroke. It didn’t and he missed the next Test. The British press dubbed him ‘The prat without a hat.”
The former England captain Dexter was once the victim of a car accident with a difference. He was driving his Jaguar when it ran out of petrol so he decided to try and push it to the nearest garage. Unfortunately, he lost control and the car ended up pinning him to a factory gate, breaking his leg in the process.
The former England captain was in his hotel room on the eve of a match when he decided to have a shave. Unfortunately, the mirror in the hotel bathroom was too low for his 6 feet 7 inch frame, he injured his neck and missed the match.
To show that accidents sometimes run in the family, Greig’s younger brother Ian also had his own major mishap. Arriving home after playing in a County match, he found that he could not get in because of a problem with the lock. Instead of calling a locksmith, he decided to get in via an open window, but slipped and fell 18 feet, breaking an ankle.
New Zealand cricketer Franklin’s career was never the same again after he was run over by a motorised luggage trolley at Gatwick Airport in 1986. He suffered multiple fractures to his left leg which kept him out of the sport for 18 months, and he could never run at top speed again.
The former England wicketkeeper must have broken every mirror in his house before their tour of Pakistan in 1987. During a net session in Lahore, he was struck on the head by a wayward ball thrown by a spectator. Then, as he was being taken to a local hospital for a check-up, a car struck him outside the entrance. And, then, after having his wound stitched up, as he got to his feet again, he struck his head on a low-hanging light.
But that was not the limit of his woes. Like Hayden he was once bitten by a dog, and then was forced to miss a Test match against the West Indies after contracting chickenpox from his daughter.
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