5 cricketers whose careers were cut short by injuries

Cricket is a beautiful game. But with beauty, there comes a whole lot of life-threatening risk every cricketer undertakes when he steps on the field. Injuries on field as well as off it are a part and parcel of every sport, and sportsmen are usually well-equipped to deal with them. Protective gear such as helmets, arm guards, abdomen guards are mandatory for every cricketer before he takes guard. At times, they run out of luck despite being fully protected. Sometimes, it is due to lack of protection. This beautiful game has witnessed many such unfortunate incidents in the past. Some of the most talented cricketers in world cricket have faced the wrath of injuries that have instantly ended their career.

We take a look at some of the most grueling injuries that ended promising cricketing careers.

1. Craig Kieswetter – England

Injury – Eye, Nose

Retirement – 2015

England’s ODI and T20 wicketkeeper, Craig Kieswetter recently announced his retirement from all forms of the game. The 27-year old Englishman was Man of the Match in England’s triumph at the 2010 World T20 final. In a county game against Northamptonshire, Kieswetter was struck right in the face, as the ball went past the helmet’s grill. The result? A broken nose and a damaged eye socket that caused serious concerns about his vision. Kieswetter did try to come back after a partial recovery, but struggled with the repercussions of his injury. His decision to retire drew curtains on a blooming young career that had miles to go.

2. Mark Boucher – South Africa

Injury – Eye

Retirement – 2012

Just when he was gearing up for his 150th milestone Test match, destiny had other plans for South Africa’s Mark Boucher. One of the best wicketkeepers in the history of the game, Boucher’s injury was so gruesome that a return was impossible. In a 2012 practice game against Somerset, Boucher was hit in the left eye by a bail that ricocheted off the stumps when Imran Tahir bowled batsman Gemaal Hussain. Sadly, Boucher wasn’t wearing a helmet while keeping, which ultimately led to his immediate retirement.

3. Saba Karim – India

Injury – Eye

Retirement – 2000

Saba Karim’s international career ended as soon as it began. After being on the fringes of the national team for years, Saba was finally given an opportunity in the home series against South Africa in 2000. But it wasn’t to be. In an Asia Cup game against Bangladesh prior to that, Saba was struck by an Anil Kumble delivery in his right eye. Although he underwent surgery, Saba Karim was forced to retire immediately.

4. David Lawrence – England

Injury – Knee

Retirement – 1992

Tall, well-built and wholehearted, David Lawrence was an English bowler who played just five Tests and a lone ODI for England. In a Test match against New Zealand, Lawrence damaged his knee cap in his delivery stride, collapsing on the ground in agony. The sound of his knee cap shattering reached as far as the spectators. Lawrence was carried off the field on a stretcher. Two unsuccessful comebacks led to the knee cap breaking yet again and Lawrence had to finally take a call. He retired at the age of 29, ending a flourishing England career.

5. Nari Contractor – India

Injury – Skull

Retirement – 1962

Nari Contractor’s injury is a living example of how a moment of distraction can change your life. During the 1961-62 tour of the West Indies, Contractor suffered a serious blow to the back of his skull, while facing a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. According to Nari, someone had opened a window in the pavilion seconds before the ball was bowled, which led to him being distracted. The injury was so serious that Contractor was unconscious for the next 6 days, post which he required blood transfusion. His life was saved, but Contractor could never play again.

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