We all know how injuries can become the worst thing that a sportsperson can go through in his sporting career. Not only does it take a physical toll on the player but it also creates massive psychological stress. Players often are out of the game for months and then have to undergo rehab and training. Players do not find their original rhythm and have to change their actions. A player is never the same after an injury.
A classic case of an injury spoiling the show for a greatly talented cricketer is Hardik Pandya. He, at one point, was playing cricket for India in all three formats. However, his ankle injury has been persisting and he has stopped bowling thereby reducing his utility. Having said that, Pandya still contributes to the team in some form or the other.
There are players whose injuries are so grave that they need to retire from international cricket. We look at 5 such players:
1. Mark Boucher
Boucher was debatably one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen that the cricketing game has ever seen. He was by far the best that South Africa had ever produced. He played 295 ODIs and 147 Tests for his nation, scoring 4686 and 5515 runs respectively. While touring England, Boucher’s left eye was hit by a bail while wicket-keeping in a practice game against Somerset. This injury was severe and he had to undergo an operation and eventually retire from professional cricket.
2. Ryan Harris
Harris had the reputation of bowling fast and accurate. His ability to consistently pitch the ball in good areas and pick key wickets stood him apart. He played 27 tests and picked 113 wickets. He was the king of swing bowling in the team. In the 2015 Ashes, he suffered a knee injury after which he decided to call it quits from the game. His entire career was marred with injuries and he was regularly in and out of the team due to them.
3. Andrew Flintoff
He was rated as one of the game’s best all-rounders. He was an explosive batsman and a fast lethal pace bowler. He retired at the age of 32, having played 79 Test matches for England, scoring 3845 runs and 3394 in 141 runs ODI matches. He announced his retirement prematurely because of continuing knee and ankle injuries which created barriers in his international career.
4. Craig Kieswetter
Kieswetter retired in 2015 after he suffered a grave injury to his eyes during a T20 game. Even after the injury, he did harbor the hope of making a comeback however, the recurring effects of the injury forced him to take the hard call. He had represented England in white-ball cricket and was excellent with his glovework behind the stumps.
5. Saba Karim
Karim would probably have the most horrendous luck. In 200, Karim was part of the ODI team that was playing against Bangladesh. A delivery from Kumble ricocheted of the batsman’s pad and hit Saba on his right eye. He underwent a lot of surgeries but his eye was greatly damaged. After being operated on, he did come back into the team to play a single test but could not continue. He retired from all forms of cricket.