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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 18 August 2018

James Anderson, Glenn McGrath and other cricketers to suffer bizarre injuries

In light of the England fast bowler's poorly-executed golf shot, here is a look at players who were laid low by bizarre injuries

England fast bowler James Anderson will consider himself lucky if he plays at Lord's. AFP
England fast bowler James Anderson will consider himself lucky if he plays at Lord's. AFP

Fast bowler James Anderson did the best he could to drop himself from the England Test squad, courtesy of a golf shot that went horribly wrong.

Playing with his fellow paceman Stuart Broad at the 27-hole Stoke Park golf course in Buckinghamshire on Sunday, Anderson's miscued shot in the rough rebounded off tree roots and caught him straight in the face.

A post shared by Stuart Broad (@stuartbroad8) on

Luckily for him, and his team, Anderson later announced he was fine. This means he could still feature for England in the second Test against India, which gets under way at Lord's, London, on Thursday.

In light of Anderson's poorly-executed golf shot, here is a look at players who were not as lucky after being laid low by bizarre injuries.

Jimmy Adams, seen in Abu Dhabi representing the Lashings cricket team, missed the South Africa tour. ADMC
Jimmy Adams, seen in Abu Dhabi representing the Lashings cricket team, missed the South Africa tour. ADMC

1999: Jimmy Adams (West Indies)

Shortly after all the hard work had been done to keep the West Indies tour of South Africa alive – following a protracted pay dispute – Jimmy Adams got injured in the strangest possible way to eventually miss the trip.

The Windies batting all-rounder sliced through his tendons on the right hand while cutting bread on a flight to Johannesburg, which reportedly resulted in him fainting. Adams was given timely treatment before being sent home.

"There was an announcement seeking the services of a doctor," former Cricket South Africa chief Dr Ali Bacher recalled in his interview to ESPNCricinfo. "I answered the call to find Adams lying unconscious with blood pouring out of his hand.

"A young doctor appeared. She stitched the wound up while I assisted. I gave up being a doctor in 1979."

Australia's Glenn McGrath, left, got himself injured at the wrong time – during the 2005 Ashes series. Reuters
Australia's Glenn McGrath, left, got himself injured at the wrong time – during the 2005 Ashes series. Reuters

2005: Glenn McGrath (Australia)

Australia could not have suffered a more consequential injury to one of its players.

England’s challenge to wrest the 2005 Ashes urn had been the most daunting in 16 years for the visiting Australian team, and they needed all their key players to stay fit for the five Tests. But as fate would have it, Glenn McGrath unwittingly stepped on a cricket ball lying on the field while training ahead of the Edgbaston Test.

The fast bowler, who had just taken his 500th wicket a few days earlier, tore ligaments in his right ankle before being ruled out of the rest of the series.

England went on win the Test and the series a few weeks later.

Matthew Hayden, in action for Chennai Super Kings, retired as one of Australia's most prolific batsmen. Agency
Matthew Hayden, in action for Chennai Super Kings, retired as one of Australia's most prolific batsmen. Agency

2006: Matthew Hayden (Australia)

Another Australian cricketer to suffer a freak injury, Hayden was enjoying a leisurely morning jog as the 2006/07 season was about to get under way when he got bitten by a dog.

The opening batsman was seen running when a local dog attacked him, sinking its teeth into the big man’s ankle and creating a five-centimetre gash. "It was a vicious attack," Hayden recalled.

"I was just out for a leisurely run. You are always a bit shocked by that sort of thing, but I was more disappointed than anything. It just hasn't been my week."

It took Hayden a few months to recover.

A mellower Shoaib Akhtar is seen in action during the T20 legends match in New York City. AFP
A mellower Shoaib Akhtar is seen in action during the T20 legends match in New York City. AFP

2007: Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)

This is a rare case in that the player who got injured in the most bizarre of circumstances went on to play the next game, while the man who caused the injury in the first place missed the rest of the tournament.

Shoaib Akhtar had meant to strike Shahid Afridi following a heated argument ahead of the 2007 World Twenty20 in South Africa. But as it turned out, the bat Shoaib had in hand to hit Afridi landed a blow on his new-ball partner Mohammed Asif’s thigh.

Shoaib later explained his assault had indeed been aimed at Afridi after the all-rounder had allegedly insulted his family. Then the world’s fastest bowler, Shoaib was sent home. As for Asif, he endured pain in his left thigh, but still played the next few games.

Pakistan went on to reach the final of the inaugural competition before losing to India by a narrow margin.

Mark Boucher at his first news conference after he sustained a serious injury to his left eye. Agency
Mark Boucher at his first news conference after he sustained a serious injury to his left eye. Agency

2012: Mark Boucher (South Africa)

Another injury that occurred at the most inopportune time for a team touring England.

During South Africa’s warm-up game against Somerset, wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher got hit in the eye by a flying bail. It came off a leg-break from Imran Tahir which not only bowled batsman Gemaal Hussain out but dislodged the bail, which hit the hapless Boucher in the eye.

Boucher was diagnosed with a lacerated eyeball when he was taken to a hospital. Sadly, it forced one of the game’s finest keepers to retire from internationals following a successful 14-year career.

"It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement," Boucher said. "Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play international cricket again.”

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