Cricketers who died due to injuries on the Cricket field
Whole Cricketing world has mourned, paying tribute to Phillip Hughes who was struck by a rising delivery of Sean Abbott which made him unconscious and later into coma state. Hughes, at age of 25, three days before 26th Birthday, after fighting for 2 days, was no more. This brought an early end to a talented batsman’s career, as cricketing world united in grief.
Here we look at the players who had similar blows and failed to regain their lives.
Cricketers who died after getting injured on the field:
Wasim Raja was one of the notable all-rounder who played for Pakistan. He represented them in 57 Tests and 54 ODIs for his country. He played between 1973 and 1985 for Pakistan before been appointed as an ICC match referee for span of two years between 2002 and 2004.
Raja’s 54 year life ended in a tragedy as when he was playing for the Surrey, at age of 54, he bowled a couple of overs and later complained to fellow players over his dizziness, following which he was carried off. He collapsed on the boundary and never recovered. It happened on August 23, 2006.
He will be remembered by all the Pakistani players and also by his fans. The Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram, recalled how he used to go and see Wasim Raja play and how he was the crowd’s favourite owing to his hard-hitting abilities and his charisma.
He was the brother of Rameez Raja who also played international cricket for Pakistan, and a well-known TV commentator at present.
Raman Lamba was a talented player from Delhi, who possessed a good average of 53 in first class cricket. His record was enough to gain him the spot in Indian team but he couldn’t capitalize it.
However, his life ended with a very tragic death.
Lamba was playing for his team – the Abahani Krida Chakra in the Dhaka Premiere League at the Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka – and the day was 20 February, 1998. Lamba was asked by the wicket-keeper captain Khaled Mashud to field at that short leg for the final 3 deliveries of the day, for which he refused to wear a helmet.
A short delivery from bowler was smashed by batsman which went on to hit the forehead (Temple) as he didn’t wear any protection. The ball was so hard that the ball that hit that Lamba bounced off him and went into the wicketkeeper’s hands. The batsman was Mehrab Hossain.
However, he did walk off the field but claimed he was fine, only to collapse later in the dressing room. By the time he was rushed to a hospital, blood clot in head was detected. He was operated upon too, but it wasn’t that effective, and life support was taken away 3 days later.
He was 38. He had 31 first-class hundreds to his name in the 121 games that he played, averaging over 50.
Wilfred Slack was a Middlesex player well-known about his great batting skills. He had an incredible first class record with both bat and ball but he couldn’t utilize it properly to cut into the National team.
His health started to darken by showing bad signs when he started blacking out while playing, which this happened on at least four instances, even before the day he eventually passed away.
On 15 January, 1989 at the early age of 34, Slack collapsed while batting for Cavaliers XI during a game in The Gambia and gave up his life.
Syed Faaqer Ali:
Syed Faaqer Ali was the son of all-rounder Syed Abid Ali, and son-in-law of Wicket Keeper Syed Kirmani who both have played cricket for Indian national team.
While playing a league match for Tracy United Cricket Club as part of the Northern California Cricket Association league in Fremont, CA, Syed was batting really well and even hitting boundaries. But he suffered a heart attack and could not continue to play and was rushed off the field. Soon about 15 minutes later, Syed was declared to be died. At Fremont’s Washington Hospital, he left the world by leaving everybody in shock and disbelief. It happen on April 19, 2008 when Faaqer was just 34 years old.
He was the captain of his team and was going really well before he asked for a runner from the umpire. A few minutes later, he collapsed on the ground and emergency was called.
Folley was a right-handed batsman and a left-arm spin bowler who played for Lancashire and Derbyshire. He took up sport in 1982 at age of 19. He wasn’t a successful cricketer but had a chance to get picked for getting picked for Pakistan tour in 1990 as he picked up 74 wickets in the year including in the tours.
However, two years later at age of 30, in 1993 on August 30, Folley playing a club match for Cumbrian Whitehaven against Workington, came out to bat. While batting, he got hit on his eye and was rushed to Hospital. He suffered a heart attack while undergoing treatment to his eye. Some unofficial sources told that some mishap at the hospital while treatment, and under anaesthetic, Iam Folley passed away.
Abdul Aziz was Pakistani player who passed away at young age of 17 while playing.
While batting in the first-innings of the Quaid-e-Azam final against Pakistan Combined Services, Aziz got struck by ball on his heart by spinner Dildwar Awan. While getting ready for the next ball, Aziz fell on the ground and never regained consciousness and passed away in the way to hospital.
A player who does not bat in an innings is recorded in the scorecard as “absent”; in some scorecards, Aziz is recorded as “absent dead” in the second innings.
George Summers was a Nottingham Cricketer who had to leave his life after been injured in a match at Lords.
In the match against MCC at Lord’s in 1870, at age of 26, Summers was hit by a short delivery from John Platts a fast bowler. He was carried off the field and seemed to be recovered, and was not taken to hospital. But when he went by train back to Nottingham, he died due the injury he suffered, four days later.
Lord’s at the time was renowned for being a poor pitch. After Summers’ death, efforts were made to improve it, and MCC paid for his gravestone taking the responsibility. The death of Summers ensured Platts never bowled fast again.
As a protest against the dangerous bowling, the next batsman Richard Daft came out to the wicket with his head wrapped in a towel.
Low profiled cricketer of Border team, Darryn Randall died after been hit on head while playing a match.
While batting in a Premier League match, Randall at age of 32 in 2013, was hit on the side of the head in attempting to pull a short delivery against Fort Hare University playing for Old Selbornians, held at Border Cricket Board, Alice.
He collapsed immediately and was rushed to the Alice Hospital where medical staff was unable to revive him.
Zulfiqar Bhatti, a young 22-year-old club cricketer passed away after being hit on the chest while batting during Begum Khursheed Memorial T20 tournament in Sukkur, a district in Pakistan’s Sindh province in the year 2013.
Bhatti playing for a team lead by his elder brother Ali Asad, got struck on his chest while attempting a pull shot. Soon he was rushed to a civil hospital where he was declared dead.
Umpire: Alcwyn Jenkins:
One of the rare instances when umpires in cricket get injured but Alcwyn Jenkins had his life costed after a ball thrown by a fielding player hit him on his head.
Hundreds of fans watched in horror as Alcwyn Jenkins, aged 72, failed to see the ball hurtling towards the stumps from the boundary. He was a well known umpire in Welsh cricket. Players tried to resuscitate him after he collapsed.
He was airlifted to hospital but never regained consciousness.
England County players’ named George Smerz and Ayan Folay also passed away while playing Cricket.
Notable International Players’ careers coming to an end due to injuries on the field:
Indian Wicket-Keeper, Nari Contractor’s career came to an end after he had a skull damage while troubled facing a short delivery of Charlie Griffith.
Mark Boucher, probably the best wicket keeper when he ended his career after stump dislodged in his eye which lofted after wickets disturbed by Imran Tahir’s delivery when Mark wasn’t wearing a helmet.
Many other Cricketers survived huge injures but managed to return back into the game.
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