Injuries in Cricket: A Cautionary Tale

The majority of people have had sports injuries in their lives, ranging from the netball court, the football field to even the ski slopes. According to the NHS guide to treating sporting injuries, causes can range from a faulty warm-up, or a hit in the face with a cricket ball!

In a recent interview with Michael Murphy, an ex-Wales cricketer, he recalled his incident whilst playing for his home team, Gowerton. He told us, how when his coach reminded him to keep an eye on the ball, during the match against Nottingham, he perhaps took it too literally. Whilst wicket keeping, his main focus was on getting the batsman out, he hadn’t realised how fatigued he’d become, as the season came to an end, and he told us how the ball flicked off his front pad directly into Murphy, the wicketkeepers, right eye socket. He remembered feeling blood drip down his cheek, as he feared the worst.

At the hospital he was informed by doctors of the extent of his injuries including his detached retina, fractured cheekbone and the urgent need to operate. The surgery involved putting a pipe cleaner into the back of his eye and bent it to fit the shape of his eye. His eye was then temporarily removed, and placed on his shoulder, a fact which Murphy stated made him feel nauseous when he was later told. The recovery was a struggle and cost him the rest of the season. Murphy told us he had droopy eyelids and double vision as the outcomes, but says these haven’t affected his confidence.

Interestingly, these injuries have not deterred Murphy from playing . Stating recently, “I’m not cautious at all, if you’re cautious, you can’t give it 100%, and your head isn’t in the game”

Murphy’s story is only one of a number of injuries sustained in sport. His advice for anyone playing today is pretty simple! “Nowadays, all the clubs have equipment for particular uses, make sure you use all the equipment there is!”

Despite the use of the best equipment there is, this was not enough to protect Australian cricketer Phil Hughes who, on the afternoon of November 25th, 2014, was hit on the head with a cricket ball during a game, whilst wearing full headgear. Hughes was struck down in seconds after the ball hit a small unprotected area near his left ear. He was given mouth- to-mouth at the pitch before being airlifted to St Vincent’s hospital, Sydney, where he underwent surgery. The extent of his injuries were so great that he did not survive and tragically passed away two days later, on the 27th November , three days before his birthday.

Although many contact sports are growing in popularity, precautions still need to be taken and to wear the full equipment provided.

Cricket is a sport that should be enjoyed, but also injuries will happen and unfortunately no one can stop that . Ensure that the importance of safety is known and understood globally.