There are cricket injuries, and then there are freak cricket injuries. The Big Bash League match between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades on Monday featured an incident where a batsman caused an injury to a wicketkeeper.
The batsman was Brad Hodge, Australia’s best T20 player, and Peter Nevill, who has also played for Australia. Chasing Melbourne Renegades’ 172, all hopes for Adelaide Strikers rested on Hodge’s shoulders. With 43 runs needed off 18 balls, Hodge tried to get his team closer to victory.
In the first ball of the over bowled by Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, Hodge looked to go for an almighty heave to the leg side. He mistimed the shot but swung so hard the bat slipped out of his hands and was flung towards Melbourne Renegades keeper, Nevill. The stumper was watching the ball go to deep backward square leg when the bat smashed into the side of his face.
Nevill’s jaw began swelling immediately and he was taken off the field. Hodge fell for 26 in the 18th over and Melbourne Renegades registered a six-run win to stay in contention for the knockouts.
Following the blow to his face, Nevill was taken to hospital. The Big Bash League released a statement on Twitter which said he had suffered a fractured jaw.
Peter Nevill taken to hospital for x-rays after being struck by bat. Fears are he suffered a fracture to the jaw #BBL06— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 16, 2017
Nevill has played 17 Tests and nine Twenty20 Internationals for Australia with his last international match coming against South Africa in Hobart. Hodge, on the other hand, is the second-highest run-getter in Twenty20s overall with 7299 runs in 269 matches. At 42, this is potentially the last time he plays in the BBL.
Wicketkeepers have suffered many freak injuries. India’s Saba Karim and South Africa’s Mark Boucher both lost an eye following injuries while keeping wicket.