Vishal Mehra ∙ May 30 2023, 5:30 PM | 3 Min Read

Top 5 Most Menacing Injuries in Cricket

image-li9qqtniMitchell McClenaghan cops a blow to the eye [Source: Twitter]

Injuries are part of any sport and can happen to the best of athletes, regardless of skill, talent, and hard work. Despite being a no-contact sport, cricket has a vast history of players getting injured; some are on the surface level, while few can be life or career-threatening. 

In the era of uncovered pitches, batters had to face the brunt while batting on common back in the day of uncovered pitches, whereas basic safety equipment such as a helmet took time to be introduced as a regular feature in the game. However, despite all the safety rules and regulations in place, batters continue to get hit on the head even in 2023, and are constantly living in fear of that one-fated ball.

In this list, let's have a look into the Top 5 menacing injuries that have occurred on a cricket field.

Nari Contractor vs West Indies

image-lia4gtybNari Contractor suffered one of the most brutal injuries in 1962 [Source: Twitter]

Former India opening batter, Nari Contractor suffered one of the most brutal injuries when he faced off against the West Indies in 1962. In a moment of distraction, Contractor took his eyes off Charlie Griffith, and had the ball crash into the back of his head, fracturing the skull.

The impact developed a blood clot, which then required two surgeries and multiple blood transfusions, that saved Contractor's life, but abruptly ended his 31-Test career. 

Alex Tudor vs Australia 

image-li9zwitrBrett Lee rushes towards Alex Tudor [Source: Twitter]

England's talented fast bowler Alex Tudor gained a name in the international arena for his pace but was constantly troubled with injuries. During the 2002-03 Ashes series Down Under, Tudor played out an extremely volatile spell from Brett Lee, which had a barrage of bouncers.

One such bouncer snuck into Tudor's helmet and hit him just below his left eyebrow, which resulted in him leaving the field on a stretcher. This was Tudor's final Test appearance for England. 

Mitchell McClenaghan vs Pakistan

image-li9qrk0gMitchell McClenaghan gets hit on the eye [Source: Twitter]

New Zealand's pacer Mitchell McClenaghan coped with a nasty blow against Pakistan in an ODI back in 2016. Facing Anwar Ali, McClenaghan attempted a mistimed pull shot and ended up having the ball crash into his eye socket.

In a bloody scene, the ball went between the helmet and grill and pocketed itself just below his left eye, which caused a fracture, as McClenaghan laid down on the pitch. 

Mark Vermeulen vs India

image-lia0rhhdMark Vermeulen gets knocked over by a bouncer [Source: Twitter]

Zimbabwe's highly controversial player Mark Vermeulen makes the list, as the batter suffered a terrible injury while playing an ODI against India in 2003-04. New pacer sensation, Irfan Pathan bowled a bouncer towards Vermeulen, to which the batter played hook-shot, resulting in a skull fracture.

Sadly for the batter, the ball top-edged and struck his forehead underneath the helmet and the grill, which resulted in gory footage. 

Vermeulen during his career had two skull fractures, and was struck three times in total.

Ewen Chatfield vs England

image-lia11eugEven Chatfield lays on the pitch [Source: Twitter]

Even Chatfield lived to tell his story, as the bowler battled life and death after getting hit during a New Zealand and England Test in 1975. Chatfield got hit by a sharp bouncer by England's Peter Lever, which resulted in a hairline skull fracture. 

Chatfield had to swallow his tongue in order to keep himself from completely collapsing, as his heart had stopped beating after the blow, and was clinically dead for a few seconds, before MCC physiotherapist Bernard Thomas revives the New Zealand bowler via heart-massage and mouth-to-mouth respiration.