Cricketers Who Braved Injuries to Achieve Greatness

Cricketers Who Braved Injuries to Achieve Greatness

Cricket being a sport has its share of Injuries. Some Injuries to the player happen on the field and their unavailability on the field due to this can cause a huge disadvantage to the side.  There are multiple instances of Cricketers who braved Injuries to Achieve Greatness and continue to play the game either to save or win the match for their respective side.

This article will discuss some of the greats in the game who displayed Resilience, Courage and Determination on the cricket field making them mortals in the game.


Presented By: Raghunath Nair

Date: 07/09/2023



Injuries are part of the game, but sometimes what seems to look like the most common injuries in cricket can have a huge bearing on the game.  Major injuries in cricket like breaking a bone, hamstring or a ligament tear can hamper the movement of the player and thus the team end up playing with 10 players instead of 11. While the injured player can be replaced with a fielding substitute, the core trait of the injured player is irreplaceable.

Cricket injuries can become Serious injury putting the cricketer’s career at risk.

Read: Career Threatening Injuries in Cricket

History has shown that cricket Injuries have not stopped the brave from going back on ground to battle for the team. Here are some instances.


Bert Sutcliffe

Match: South Africa vs New Zealand at Johannesburg, 1953-54

South Africa vs New Zealand at Johannesburg, 1953-54

Bert Sutcliffe the New Zealand Batsman was hit on the side of the head from a sharp Bouncer from the South African bowlers. The Kiwi was down on the ground and was rushed to the hospital. The Batsman had no fracture on the skull but Bert Sutcliffe’s earlobe was split. He also had a huge swelling behind his ear. He was advised complete rest by the doctors before he was discharged from the hospital.

The Pitch was fast and had lot of bounce which enabled the South Africans to continue havoc on the Kiwi Batsman who fell in a heap.

Seeing the New Zealand position, Bert Sutcliffe decided to come back on the field to continue his batting innings.  He walked out to bat with a bandaged head and seeing his partner, Bob Blair on the other end who had recently lost his fiancee in a tragic Train Accident, inspired the pair to play an almost match saving innings. Bert made a fighting 80 and stitched in a useful partnership with Bob.

The strong South African side won the match, however, the bravery shown by the pair of Bert Sutcliffe and Bob went in the history books as one of the most courageous innings seen in cricket


Colin Cowdrey

Match: England vs West Indies at Lord’s, 1963

England vs West Indies at Lord’s 1963

The drawn Lord’s Test of 1963 between England and West Indies was edged in the history books for some phenomenal courage shown by Colin Cowdrey.

England was set a target to chase in the fourth innings and the score stood at 31/3

West Indies fast bowler Wes Hall bowled a quick one which broke the arm of Colin Cowdrey making him incapacitated to continue his innings

While there were notable contributions from the English middle order which put them in a winning position, the pendulum again spun towards the West Indies Pacers who continued their hostile bowling and piled on the wickets to bring the game to a last over finish. England needed 8 in the final over with two wickets in hand. All three scenarios where possible for the Test to conclude.

With Colin Cowdrey incapacitated with a broken arm, the West indies team needed 1 wicket which came in the form of a runout in the 2nd ball of the over.

With six to win off three balls, Colin Cowdrey, to avoid a Test defeat, braved himself back into the field with a plaster in his arm. David Allen who was on strike chose to block the reminder of the over to make it an unforgettable draw.


Rick McCosker

Match : Australia vs England at MCG, 1976-77

Australia vs England at MCG 1976-77

After breaking his jaw in the first innings of the Test match by a Bob Willis Bouncer, Australian Opener Rick Mc Cosker took no part in the game till the third inning of the game. Australia was setting up a total for the English team to chase. With a strong 353 run lead for 8 wickets, Australia felt need for additional runs as the pitch flattened up and became more Batsman friendly by then.

McCosker was sent to bat with a wired Jaw to help Rod Marsh score some quick runs. Mc Cosker braved for 68 deliveries and scored 25 runs in the all-important partnership. England were finally given a target of 463 runs to chase. The partnership of Mc Cosker proved to be vital as Australia won by a thin margin of 45 runs.


Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin Ravichandran

Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin Ravichandran

The Indian Pair put on a magical partnership in the final session to help India draw the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 11, 2021.

Both players were on the field with serious injuries. Hanuma Vihari with a torn hamstring and Ravichandran Ashwin with a back spasm. One could not run due to the hamstring injury and the other could not bend due to the bad back held off the Australians in a marathon match-saving effort. The partnership batted for 42.4 overs. both Players battled the entire day to help India draw the Test match which gave them an opportunity to win the next (Gaba)Test, which they did and win the infamous Test Serious in Australian Soil.


Malcolm Marshall

Match: England vs West Indies at Headingley, 1984

England vs West Indies at Headingley 1984

Malcolm Marshall on the all-time greats in fast bowling was also known for this brave act when he came to bat to allow Larry Gomes complete his century

Marshall broke his thumb in two places in the first innings of the match which kept him away from the most part of the match. But when West indies was setting a target for England, Larry Gomes was unbeaten at 96 when the 9th wicket fell. Assuming the close of the innings, the English players were all set to chase the target when Malcom Marshal smiled his way into the ground with his batting gear on and a plastered thumb.

He played and missed as he was swinging the bat awkwardly with only one hand. He however helped Larry Gomes complete his century. While this looked funny at the Moment, the English players were later stunned to see Marshal opening the bowling with Garner.

Malcom Marshal delivered an inspirational spell of 7 for 53 in the third inning and single handedly (literally) won the game for the West Indies.


Anil Kumble

Match: West Indies vs India at Antigua, 2002

West Indies vs India at Antigua 2002

Even after being hit by a Mervyn Dillon delivery, Kumble continued to bat his innings only to realise later, he had a broken jaw. He could not take any further part in the game and was scheduled to fly back home the next day for further treatment.

The competitive nature in Kumble kicked in when India took the field and Anil Kumble bowled 14 crucial overs with a bandaged face and took the prized wicket of Brian Lara.


Gary Kirsten
Match: Pakistan vs South Africa at Lahore, 2003-04

Pakistan vs South Africa at Lahore 2003-04

Gary Kirsten broke his nose to a Shoaib Akhtar Bouncer and was retired hurt for 53 in the first innings.

Conceding a lead, South Africa in their second innings lost early wickets.  Post the 4th wicket Kirsten with his bruised face took the crease and scored a spirited 46 runs.

Pakistan won the game by 8 wickets but the heroics of Gary Kirsten was the topic of discussion of the Test match.


Yuvraj Singh

ODI World Cup 2011

ODI World Cup 2011

The South Paw fought his way out of cancer to win India their second World Cup in 2011.

Yuvraj was advised by doctor to no be part of the Semifinals seeing his deteriorating health but the competitiveness in Yuvraj helped him to not only play the game but be a reason for the victory and put India into finals.

Yuvaraj with his health condition was still the player of the tournament for India and a reason for India’s 2011 winning moment.


Graeme Smith

Match: Australia vs South Africa at Sydney, 2009

Australia vs South Africa at Sydney 2009

After winning the Test series, the last match was taken as seriously as the first two Test due to the intense rivalry between the two sides.

After breaking his left hand of a Mitchel Johnson delivery in the first innings, Graeme Smith came as the last Batsman for South Africa in the fourth innings with a bandaged hand. With series already won, the South Africans still did not want to hand over the win without a fight.

Every ball played by Smith was received with huge cheer from the Australian crowd.

With injections and painkillers, Smith hung for 17 balls till he was finally dismissed by Mitchel Johnson.


Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Imran Khan took retirement from cricket due to prolonged injuries he suffered in his career. During the 1992 worldcup, he was requested to come out of retirement and lead the World Cup side by the then President of the country.

Imran Khan was reluctant but braved through his injuries by taking pain killers and injections throughout the tournament.

Pakistan Won the 1992 Worldcup by the help of his remarkable captaincy traits.



The Ability of players to focus on the game when they are physically hurt shows how much the game is a mental one. The Resilience and Determination displayed by Cricketers make the game great. While history may not find a place for these heroics on the field, hope their contributions are documented through such humble blogs.

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