There are instances in cricket when the players sustain injuries on-field during a match; sometimes, the severity of the injury leads to the exclusion of the injured player from the remaining part of the match. On numerous occasions, these kinds of injuries keep the player away from the cricketing action for the next couple of months.
But there have been also times when the players, with their brave intent and courage, defied all the pain and severity of the injury and made a shocking comeback in the same match considering their importance for the team in the crucial situation of the match.
With said that, here we’ll have a look at the 5 players who returned despite the painful injuries they sustained in the same match.
Malcolm Marshall with fractured thumb – England vs West Indies Headingley Test – 1984
Almost 40 years back in 1984, the West Indies were leading the five-match Test series by 2-0 against England in England. But the visitors faced a big setback in the third Test at the Headingley in Leeds when their ace pacer Malcolm Marshall sustained a big injury fracturing his thumb and everyone was thinking of him and ruled out from the remaining part of the match.
But Marshall, the man with a brave heart proved everyone wrong and came back strongly in the second innings of the match with a plaster on his hand. Apart from that, he also claimed an amazing 7-wicket haul to help West Indies bundle out England just at the score of 159 runs in the second innings and to win the match by 8 wickets.
Anil Kumble with broken Jaw – West Indies vs India Antigua Test – 2002
With the five-match Test series being levelled at 1-1, West Indies and India were locking horns in the fourth Test of the five-match series in Antigua in 2002. However, the match ended in a draw but it is still known for the heroic and courageous act of the former legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble.
Kumble got injured during the match and broke his jaw; it was looking almost impossible that he would make a return on the field; but Kumble showed an amazing spirit and took the field in the West Indies innings to bowl. He also scalped the wicket of Brian Lara.
Graeme Smith with fractured thumb – Australia vs South Africa Sydney Test – 2009
Having an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match Test series against Australia in the 2008-09 session, South Africa were taking on the hosts in the third and last Test of the series. The last fixture of the series was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney from January 3 to January 7, 2009.
The Proteas were chasing a big target of 376 runs in the fourth innings of the game on the last day of the match. Their skipper and star opener Graeme Smith was already out of action due to a fractured thumb and he was supposed not to bat. But everyone was left stunned when Graeme Smith was seen coming from the dressing room to bat at number 11 to save the match for his side. However, he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson just a few balls before the end of the fifth and last day of the match.
Nathan Lyon with a calf injury – England vs Australia Lord’s Test – Ashes 2023
England and Australia were taking on each other in the second Test of the Ashes 2023 at the iconic Lord’s from June 28 to July 2, 2023. The veteran Australian spinner Nathan Lyon had achieved the milestone of playing 100 Tests consecutively for successive 10 years. Unfortunately, he sustained a calf injury in the middle of the match.
He was seen walking with crutches to make it to the ground from the team bus; in an unexpected line of events, the entire Lord’s crowd was forced to bow down and give a standing ovation to the heroic and courageous effort of Nathan Lyon when he made his way out to the middle from the dressing room in completely a limping situation.
Shamar Joseph with an injured toe – Australia vs West Indies Sydney Test 2024
Undoubtedly, it is the latest entry in this list of the courageous acts by players who played despite injuries. The young Caribbean pacer Shamar Joseph was playing in his debut series and he impressed everyone with his bowling in the debut match. In an unfortunate line of events, Shamar Joseph faced a toe-crushing yorker of star Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc.
It was bleeding from Joseph’s toe when he was being taken off the field; according to Joseph himself, he was not sure about making a return to the field, but something else was written by destiny on the account of the 24-year-old. He took the field in the second innings and claimed a sensational 7-wicket haul to help West Indies register a historic win against Australia after a long wait of 27 years.
Eventually, Shamar Joseph won both the ‘Player of the Match’ and Player of the Series award in his debut series for his team.