Cricketers Who Died During Matches
Cricket is a game of the gentleman, what with its pace, and the amount of technique and patience required in the game is intense. The game, of course, has changed hugely over the passing years. The 5-day Test matches became One Day matches, and are now played in a Twenty-20 format. Due to the higher pace and shorter durations, the game has the same amount of excitement and aggression as any of the fast games in the world like football or tennis. But, it cannot be claimed that cricket was totally devoid of aggression. Injuries have always been a part of the sport, and accidents have often led to severe injuries, and even deaths. Let us take a look at 10 Cricketers Who Died During Matches.
Cricketers Who Died During Matches
1. Phillip Hughes
Left-handed opening batsman Phillip Hughes was a member of Australian Test and One-Day International team. He appeared in two seasons with New South Wales and also played domestic cricket for South Australia and Worcestershire. He debuted in Test cricket in 2009 at the age of 20. Phillip Hughes was knocked unconscious by a bouncer by Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 25 November 2014. The impact caused a vertebral artery dissection which finally led to a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Hughes was in intensive care in a critical condition where he was placed into an induced coma after he was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital. He never regained consciousness and died on 27 November.
2. Raman Lamba
Indian batsman Raman Lamba played for Indian national cricket team in four Tests and 32 One Day Internationals. Besides playing on the Indian team, he also represented Ireland in unofficial One Day International matches. Raman Lamba was playing for Dhaka’s leading club Abahani Krira Chakra against Mohammedan Sporting Club in the final of the Premier Division cricket match on 20 February 1998 at the Dhaka Bangabandhu Stadium, fielding at forward short leg, when he was hit by Mehrab Hossain on the temple by a cricket ball while fielding at forward short leg in a ball of left arm spinner Saifullah Khan. The furious shot made by Mehrab Hossain deflected from his head and was caught by the wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud. Raman Lamba died on 23 February 1998 due to this impact.
3. Abdul Aziz
Wicket keeper and opening batsman Abdul Aziz was born, in Karachi, Pakistan. He was a student at S. M. College and worked for the Pakistan State Bank. For Karachi, Abdul Aziz appeared in eight first-class matches. While he was batting against Pakistan Combined Services in the first-innings of the Quaid-e-Azam final, he was struck over the heart by a slow off break from Dildwar Awan. Aziz never regained consciousness after he fell to the ground, as he had just started to take stance for the next ball. On 17 January 1959, he died en route to hospital. Abdul Aziz was recorded as “absent” in the second innings of the match with a footnote explaining he was hurt but had died of the impact.
4. Daren Randal
Daren Randal, for Border as a pupil at Stirling Primary and Selborne College in East London, played 4 first-class and 4 list-A games in 2009. He was also the coach of the highly regarded cricket academy at Stirling Premier School. In a match between Old Selbornians and Fore Hare University, Daren Randal tried to play a pull shot. He fell on the crease after being hit on the side of his head by the rising delivery. On 27 October 2013, he was immediately taken to a hospital but died. While talking about the unfortunate event, CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said, “This is a very sad day, indeed. I would like to convey CSA’s deepest condolences on behalf of the South African cricketing family not just to his family and friends but also to all the players, umpires, clubs and everybody else who was present at this match.”
5. George Summers
George Summers was born on 21 June 1844 and was an English cricketer who played his entire first-class cricket for Nottinghamshire. He was hit from fast bowler John Platts by a short delivery in a match against MCC at Lord’s in 1870. On 19 June 1870, four days later, George Summers died from his injury due to the impact of the ball. He was not taken to hospital as he seemed to recover after he was carried off the field. George Summers died from his injury due to the impact of the ball while he was going by train back to Nottingham four days later on 19 June 1870. Efforts were made to improve Lord’s pitch, and MCC paid for his gravestone after George Summers’s death. , Richard Daft, the next batsman, came out to the wicket with his head wrapped in a towel as a protest against what he saw as dangerous bowling.
6. Ian Folley
English cricketer Ian Folley was a right handed batsman and left-arm bowler who initially bowled as a medium-pacer but eventually transformed into a spinner. He made his switch after being coached and mentored by Jack Bond. He started his cricketing career in 1982 as a seamer for Lancashire. He succeeded in taking 129 wickets and a bowling average of less than 30 in the next two seasons. He was hit underneath the eye when he was batting in a match against Workington, for Whitehaven. He had to be rushed to the hospital immediately for a minor operation to repair his perforated eyeball, but on 30th August, 1993, he had a heart attack and passed away under anesthesia. He was only 30 years of age at that time.
7. Zulfiqar Bhatti
The young Zulfiqar Bhatti was playing in a match in the Sukkur district of Sindh in Pakistan, during the Begum Khursheed Memorial T20 tournament, and was batting, when he was hit on the chest. His elder brother, Ali Asad, captained him when pulled a shot and got struck on the chest. He had to be taken to the civil hospital almost immediately and had to be put on ventilator. But on 19th December, 2013, he was pronounced dead from the impact. Ayaz Mehmood, the districts cricket secretary, said, “It is sad news for us and everyone is shocked about his accidental death,” and also recorded “The district administration has suspended sports activities throughout Sukkur district for three days as condolence.”
8. Richard Beaumont
Richard Beaumont was 33 years old when, on the 5th of August, 2012, suffered from what was suspected as a heart attack, when he was still on the ground at Pedmore Cricket Club, Stourbridge. As soon as he fell unconscious, he was airlifted and taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. However, shortly after he arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced dead. He had taken 5 wickets for 31 runs in 12 overs from his opponents, Astwood Bank Cricket Club, after which, at 3.45 pm, he collapsed. To pay a tribute to Beaumont, the social media was used by his local rivals. Redditich Cricket Club commented, ‘Sad day for cricket the untimely death of Pedmore CC Cricketer Richard Beaumont, thoughts and prayers from all at Redditch Cricket Club.’
9. Wasim Raja
Wasin Raja was a Pakistani cricket player who represented the national cricket team of Pakistan from 1973 to 1985. He played in 54 ODIs and 57 Tests for the team. His younger brother, Rameez Raja was also a representative of the team where he Rameez eventually became the captain. Wasim married an Englishwoman, Ann, and together, they settled in London. Wasim gained a certificate in education from the Durham University. He also taught for some time at Caterham School in Surrey, but eventually took on the Under-19 team of Pakistan as a coach. He also appeared in 15 Test matches and 34 ODI matches as the International Cricket Council match referee from 2002 to 2004. As a part of the over-50s side for Surrey, he met with a heart attack while playing in an August 2006 match in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in England, and passed away.
10. Wilf Slack
Wilf Slack, an English cricketer, was seen in three Test matches and two One Day International matches for the English national cricket team in 1986. Unfortunately, things came to an abrupt end for him with his sudden death, when, on 15th January 1986, he collapsed on the ground and breathed his last during a game in Banjul, The Gamba. He was 34 years old at that time. He was greatly popular among fellow cricket players. He was coached in five English winters in New Zealand. His Wisden obituary responded to his death by saying, “He was particularly popular among fellow-cricketers, who spoke feelingly of their respect and sorrow when he died. He was mourned, too, in New Zealand, where he coached in five English winters. Slack was buried in his prized England blazer, bat at his side, and as the funeral cortege drove past Lord’s, the Grace Gates bore a sign reading ‘Farewell Wilf’.”
While playing, accidents are bound to happen, and it can injure the players severely. Some happen when the player himself inflicts it upon himself, while many happen when a fellow player strikes. But, there is no doubt about the fact that these are all accidents and never intentional, and the injuries also scar the players, whether they are teammates or opponents. While it is always a good idea to be careful on the field, but the risks on a sport ground can never fully be prevented.