New Zealand Test cricket legend Martin Crowe has recalled all the near misses he experienced during his career that included 77 Test matches in light of the passing of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes.
Crowe said that as cricketers they reflect deeply, questioning that how did they themselves all dodged this moment. He said that he must have been hit 20 times above the shoulders, in the neck, throat and head, in over 25 years of playing the game, and shrugged it off, as they all did.
Crowe claimed that after learning about Hughes' tragedy all the moments came flooding back: cut above eye, 1972; front tooth in 1980; twice cleaned up in the back of the head by Jeff Thomson on debut in Wellington in 1982; nailed above the ear by Holding in 1985 in Georgetown; jaw split open by a Bruce Reid steepler in Christchurch in 1986; hit in the temple by a Sylvester Clarke dart in 1987 at Taunton; smashed in the front cheek at short point in Auckland in 1988, News.com.au reported.
He said that through the eighties, a few bullets dodged, yet there were many more, especially against the fire in Babylon known as the West Indies, that missed by half a bee's proverbial.
Crowe claimed that in 1990, the hits kept coming more frequently, the odds shortening, as he went through a bizarre series of near misses; hit in the throat by a beamer delivered by Manoj Prabhakar in Dunedin; months later struck between the eyes by a deflection from the keeper to him at first slip and hospitalized at Chelmsford; and finally the over by Wasim Akram in Lahore in November that forced him to wear a grill on his helmet for good, albeit a cut-down top-bar-removed version.
The former New Zealand star admitted that twice his life flashed before him as Akram reverse swung two bouncers millimetres from his retreating open face.
Crowe said that with a grill on, he felt his mouth protected, but added that he was adamant his eyes were unimpeded by the sight of steel bars, so the top bar was removed by his own saw.
Crowe said that two balls could fit between helmet and grill, and that gave him enough comfort to know that he could see the ball at all times.
Crowe said that they all had these kinds of moments in the game that they endured somehow. He added that they were lucky.
Crowe claimed that Hughes didn't deserve not enjoying the same luck, and questioned why did such a good kid, on track to finally nail that spot he so wanted and so deserved, become the first after so long.
Image: Martin Crowe
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