England star player Jonny Bairstow was forced out of action ahead of the fourth ODI in Sri Lanka after injuring his ankle while playing football during training.
Football is one of the more favoured ways for teams to warm up nowadays. However, it is also extremely easy for players to get injured while playing it during training. Even so, teams continue to play the ‘beautiful game’ while preparing for a cricket match.
Despite Bairstow’s injury, England players were seen kicking a football around before the fourth ODI in Pallekele. Many players have picked up serious injuries but very little seems to be done to avoid what is avoidable injuries. We take a look at a few such freak injuries while training.
One of the most famous instances of warm-ups gone wrong. The Indian team in the mid 2000s took a liking to playing the traditional game of ‘kho kho’ which is a mix of tag and musical chairs involving sudden twists and turns. The left-handed batsman tore the ligament in his left knee during a training session in Mohali during the 2006 Champions Trophy. He played with a dodgy knee for the rest of his career.
Yuvraj also injured his left ankle while playing barefoot football during the 2016 World T20 in Bangladesh.
Denly, who had just returned to the England team, damaged his left knee following a collision with Owais Shah during a practice-session football game at The Oval in 2009. Football was banned for a time by then coach Andy Flower.
According to the Press Association, England players remain keen football players despite such serious injuries. The players are said to be in favour of the workout and have even awarded each other ‘fantasy football’ price tags in Sri Lanka.
One of the most ‘expensive’ football related injuries in cricket. India batsman Rohit Sharma was all set to make his Test debut. But, his Test bow got delayed by more than three years after he twisted his ankle while playing football ahead of the first Test against South Africa in Nagpur in 2010.
India handed Test debuts to batsman Subramaniam Badrinath and wicketkeeepr Wriddhiman Saha in the match the hosts lost by an innings.
Despite these injuries, any many more, teams continue to take a chance. Interestingly, during the Asia Cup in the UAE, the Hong Kong team warmed-up playing what has to be one of the safest games possible on a field – frisbee.
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