Now that the dust has settled after the Champions Trophy (and that totally unnecessary T20 series against the Kiwis), we can look back on the last few weeks with extreme satisfaction. We didn’t win any trophies but the primary objective was met: avoiding catastrophic injuries immediately before the Ashes.
India deserved to win the Champions Trophy anyway, while the Canary Yellows’ struggles were funnier than any comedian Australia has ever produced (expect maybe Steve Hughes, whose hilarity can be directly attributed to his decision to move to the UK ten years ago).
The next two weeks are about the same thing really: getting our players in tip top condition, whilst nervously anticipating injury bulletins from both camps:
Will James Pattinson manage to play two games in a row without suffering a freak stress fracture of some kind? Will Ryan Harris manage to complete a single match? And how will Michael Clarke’s body hold up? I trust the Somerset players are giving him a big pat on the back at the end of each day’s play at Taunton. If they could turn that ‘pat’ into an almighty ‘whack’, right in his most troublesome spot, that would be best.
However, all this talk of injuries has got me thinking. What’s the worst injury, or the most bizarre, you’ve witnessed on a cricket field? Or are you simply one of these people who suffer from perpetual niggles; if you’re under the age of thirty you probably don’t know what this is like … in which case, just you wait a few years smartarse. It comes to us all.
Personally, I’ve got away with things lightly on the injury front. I’ve got a chronic wrist injury at the moment, which seems to have baffled every specialist under the sun, and I’ve twisted my ankle a couple of times – a problem solved by buying a pair of decent boots from ActivInstinct – but otherwise my body has survived major damage.
Some might say this is down to my total lack of commitment in the field, and an inability to run a quick single quickly, but I disagree. My exemplary fitness record in my twenties was down to well thought-through approach to stretches and other pre-match warm-up exercises: I didn’t do any.
As for injuries I’ve seen happen to other people, I’ve witnessed the odd nasty one. When I was at school, a lad was hit in the mouth by a bouncer and a whole tooth fell out (root and all). If that was me, I simply would’ve picked it up, put it in my pocket, and kept batting. The lad in question, however, started crying and retired hurt. Well, he was only eleven at the time.