Cricket is generally known as the gentleman’s game, played with proper sportsmanship. However, over the years, as competition grew, the gentleman’s game has become a rather gruesome affair. Cricket balls have often been the cause of injuries to the players. Cricketers have more often put their bodies on the edge in order to keep their respective teams in the hunt. Despite suffering fatal injuries, the will to come out and bat or ball have made players truly outstanding. We have seen broken limbs, jaws and faces, amongst other things, in the sport. However, in spite of these injuries, some players have fought through the pain, to go on and stick in there, for their countries, or teams.
Here are 10 cricketers who bravely kept playing despite being injured on the field –
1. Virat Kohli
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Virat Kohli sustained a split webbing in his left hand while fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders as he went for a diving catch. He left the field briefly to get medical assistance, got his webbing taped and was back in field. He then played another classy knock to keep RCB’s play-off qualification hopes alive. Virat Kohli’s knock of 75 not out off 51 balls with a split webbing for RCB against KKR was a noble effort. However, he is not the first to fight adversity and come out strong in the end.
2. Anil Kumble
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The Indian leg spinner suffered a broken jaw while batting in the first innings by a Mervyn Dillon bouncer in 2002. However, Kumble came out the next day, with a bandage around his head and jaw. He ended-up bowling 14 consecutive overs and also managed to take one wicket. The match ended in a draw.
3. Graeme Smith
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Playing against Australia, in their own backyard is a very difficult task. Playing against them in their backyard, with a broken arm, is an almost impossible thing. However, the then South Africa skipper did just that, in the third Test, in South Africa’s 2009 tour of Australia.
4. Stuart Broad
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The England fast bowler suffered a broken nose after Varun Aaron’s delivery caught him in the nose. However, he battled with his injury and went on to play the last Test match (fifth) of the series in 2014. He took a total of three wickets in the match, and also scored a quick-fire 37 runs from 21 balls, in England’s first innings.
5. Gary Kirsten
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While playing against Pakistan in 2003, Gary Kirsten walked in to bat at no.3 in the Lahore Test. He was at his usual solid best before getting hit by a Shoaib Akhtar bouncer. Shoaib, bowling round the wicket dug in a short delivery. The well-set left-hander looked to pull it but was beaten by the pace as the ball smashed his face. He was down immediately and had to retire on 53 runs. An X-ray scan revealed that he had a broken nose.
6. Malcolm Marshall
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In the 1984 Headingley Test, West Indies paceman Malcolm Marshall suffered a broken left arm. However, he braved all the pain, and came out to bat in the West Indies first innings, at no. 11, so that his teammate Larry Gomes could score his century.
7. Wahab Riaz
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Pakistan in the Test series against Sri Lanka, While batting in the first innings of the second Test at Colombo he was struck on the glove by a delivery from Dushmantha Chameera, and suffered a hairline fracture. This did not stop him from bowling nine overs, though at the end of it the pain was too severe and he had to be taken off the field. He came in to bat at No. 11 in the second innings, with Pakistan barely having managed a slender lead.
8. Rick McCosker
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Australian opener Rick McCosker faced the fury of Bob Willis on the very first morning of the Centenary Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). A Willis bouncer struck him on his face; McCosker’s jaw was broken. The ball then proceeded to hit the stumps, but he would have had to retire hurt regardless.
9. Colin Cowdrey
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Despite a broken arm while facing Wes Hall, he strode out to bat and saved the match for the hosts against a world class attack.
10. Bert Sutcliffe
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In a match against South Africa in 1953, New Zealand fans were treated to what still remains one of the bravest gestures in cricket history. South Africa scored 271 runs before Neil Adcock and David Ironside took charge with the ball. On a wicket that was favorable to fast bowlers they kept hitting the batsmen. One of those steep bouncers hit Sutcliffe on the side of his head. Sutcliffe was down on the field and was immediately taken to the hospital. He scored 80 runs forming a good partnership with young New Zealand batsman Bob Blair. The duo scored 25 runs of an over, which remained a record for nearly 25 years.