In tribute to the home state of the best cricket blogger out there (the mighty Uncle J), I thought I would quickly touch on some of the better reasons players have missed games.
The top of the list has to be the Victorian batsman Brad Hodge. After a season of frustration in trying to win his Australian spot back, Hodge finally got an opportunity to play for his country when Ponting showed Australia’s dedication to 20/20 by dropping out. Hodge was so excited by this chance that he somehow managed to injure his back in the dressing room prior to the game starting. Evidently, Hodge strained his back whilst putting on his trousers. His replacement, Luke Pomersbach, made his debut whilst ironically still being banned from representing his home state of Western Australia due to a few nights on the turps.
Abdul Razzaq's international career has always been a bit stop-start. However, one of the weirdest incidents occurred when he contracted a mysterious illness during the Melbourne Test against Australia a few years ago. Razzaq suffered from vomiting, dizziness and breathing difficulties on the third day of the test, and didn’t recover in time for the final game at Sydney. This illness was eventually put down to his addiction to spinach.
Ian Botham has a lot to answer for. England selectors spent many years trying to find an allrounder that was as capable of winning matches with both bat and ball. While they eventually found Andrew Flintoff, they tried a lot of duds along the way. One player who never had Beefy’s skills, but did match his general stupidity, was Chris Lewis. During a cricket tour of the West Indies, Lewis thought it was cool to shave his head. He played the next day, and promptly got sunstroke.
Shane Watson – enough said really.
Australians often think it amusing to come up with nicknames that are completely inappropriate. People with red hair are called blue, quiet people are called 'rowdy' and Shane Watson is called talented. But Greg Ritchie's nickname of Fat Cat doesn't fit that category of supposed humour. And one day, he managed to damage his knee whilst walking down the steps of the pavillion just before the game started.
Shoaib Akhtar is known for being permanently injured, but perhaps his most mysterious injury occurred just prior to the World Cup. After it was announced that he would be drug tested at the tournament he was then strangely ruled out with injury. Mysterious in the extreme.
Stuart MacGill has recently injured himself by reading too much. He has developed a form of RSI in his hands, due to reading too many novels. Spinning had nothing to do with it. Shows that intellectuals have no place on the field.