How does it feel when you toil hard, horn your skill with the ultimate ambition of representing your country; you even played a few matches for your country and left your mark in the international cricket, but got injured. And then when you are all set to make a comeback in the national squad, the heartbreaking twist enters the tale. You pick up an injury and you are ruled out from the series.
Here are ten cricketers who experienced such agony:
India’s bowling spearhead Mohammad Shami came out and spoke about his painful experience of recovering from a knee injury that kept him out of international duty since the end of India’s campaign at the World Cup in March 2015. Having recovered from injury and fought back valiantly and earned a ticket on the flight to Australia, it made for a great comeback story. There was, however, a cruel twist in store for the Bengal paceman. He landed in Perth and did his hamstring during a practice session, ruling him out of cricket for four to six weeks. Shami has since been replaced by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag picked up a shoulder injury during the second edition of the Indian Premier League in South Africa but was still picked for the 2009 World Twenty in England. Expectedly, the injury got worse during a practice session, forcing Sehwag to miss the first tie. Many had hoped for Sehwag to regain fitness, but that wasn’t to be as the then 31-year old had to fly home to get a surgery done.
This seamer had damaged his shoulder in Toronto during the Sahara Cup in 1997 but played on in South Africa during a three-Test series and then bowled full spells during the triangular series that followed. Srinath was selected for the five-Test, four match One Day International series in West Indies. However, he returned home before even the first practice match as the injury got worst.
It was not known whether Haseeb Ahsan was sent home from Pakistan’s 1962 tour of England because the umpires had unofficially spoken of a suspect action or if he genuinely had a problem with his foot, as reported. Irrespective, the offspinner played a tour game in Worcester before flying back home. Javed Akhtar, a pacer, was included in the team and it became clear that Pakistan were in need of a world class spinner and not an inexperienced seamer. England won the series 4-0.
The legendary Pakistani seamer recounted the 1992 World Cup, 13 years after the incident, the pain all too evident. “It was a nightmare to return with an injury. Yes, it does hurt sometimes that I wasn’t part of it but I still remember going to Lahore airport to receive the winning team when they returned.” Waqar recounted. Waqar arrived in Australia for the mega event and was expected to lead Pakistani’s bowling unit. Unfortunately, his back gave way a week before the opener and he was flown back home. It must have hurt sitting in Lahore with an icepack on, watching his side battle the odds and win the title under Imran Khan.
The Bengal batsman is regarded as one of the most unfortunate cricketers around. Having done consistently well during the 2007 domestic season, Tiwary was named in the squad for the tour of Bangladesh. A debut for the 20 years was on the card but just the day before the first ODI, he busted his shoulder during practice. That was the end of his tour. He had to wait a year to make his debut.
A slightly off the topic, but I think this name deserves a mention in this list. The lefthanded English batsman had announced during England’s tour of India a year before this incident he had a stress related illness but said he had recovered enough to be up for selection for the 2006-07 Ashes in Australia. On his word, the England selectors named him in the squad, and although he didn’t do too well during the two warm-ups they expected him to be in the form in time for the first Test. That didn’t happen because Trescothick revealed to the team management and the medical staff that the problem had reccurred. The very next day, he was on a flight back to England.
The Sri Lankan pacer was due to lead the Sri Lankan attack in two Tests and five ODIs against New Zealand. That was when he went and did his back in during a warm-up game against a Board President’s XI days before the first of the two Tests. He was replaced in the side by Vishwa Fernando, the uncapped pacer.
The lanky pacer’s career was in doubt nearly two years but he made his way back with wishing show in the 2015 Ashes. He was eventually selected for the tour of United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan. He made the case clear by picking up a 4 for 16 in the second two-day game against Pakistan A. Soon after the game, he reported soreness in his left foot. On the morning of the first test, he was in a cast and was walking around in crutches. Obviously, he was done for the series. Pakistan won the three-match Test series 2-0 but England bounced back by winning the ODIs and Twenty 20 International series.
The Australia has had a troubled right knee for a long time. But he had managed the pain well enough to get selected for the 2015 Ashes. Harris intended to cap his injury prone career with one final show but was in visible pain during the tour game. A week before the first Ashes Test, test results were not promising and he was ruled out of the series. Tired of the rigors of recovery from injury, Harris decided to call quits on the very same day.