Fatal Injuries That Destroyed Cricketers Career

While cricket is a relatively safe sport, when compared with motor and contact sports, any elite level sport carries significant risks. A standard cricket ball weighs 160 grams and can fly through the air at more than 140km/h which makes it a major source of accidents in the cricket field.

Here are some of the cricketers who were severely injured after sustaining fatal injuries on the cricket field.

Raman Lamba


Raman Lamba was born on 2 January 1960 and passed away on 23 February 1998 due to a fatal injury he suffered on the cricket field. He was an Indian cricketer who played in four Tests and 32 One Day Internationals, mainly as a batsman.

He was a popular player in Bangladesh’s Dhaka Premier League and has also represented Ireland in unofficial One Day International matches. Lamba died after slipping into a coma due to internal haemorrhage, three days after being hit in the temple by a cricket ball while fielding in Bangladesh’s league cricket.

The particular shot which injured Raman Lamba was hit by the batsman Mehrab Hossain off left-arm spinner Saifullah Khan while Raman fielding at forwarding short leg. It is said that Lamba was asked to wear a helmet by his teammates, but he thought it was unnecessary as only three balls of the over were remaining when he was asked to move to that position.

Lamba was playing for Dhaka’s leading club, Abahani Krira Chakra, in the final of the Premier Division cricket match versus Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Dhaka Bangabandhu Stadium on 20 February 1998. The shot was so ferocious that the ball deflected from his head (and he was not wearing a helmet) and flew into wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud’s gloves.

Although the injury did not appear to be particularly serious, Lamba suffered an internal haemorrhage and slipped into a coma. Although a neurosurgeon was flown in from Delhi, all efforts were in vain. After three days his ventilator was removed and Lamba was declared dead.

Philip Hughes

philip hughes

During the afternoon session of the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 25 November 2014, Hughes, batting at 63 not out, was struck in the neck by the ball after missing an attempted hook shot to a bouncer from New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott. Hughes was wearing a helmet, but the ball struck an unprotected area just below his left ear.

He collapsed before receiving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and was subsequently taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, where he underwent surgery and was placed into an induced coma. Hughes’ injury was a rare but described type of sport-related blunt-force cerebrovascular injury called a vertebral artery dissection which led to subarachnoid haemorrhage. The match was immediately abandoned.

The other two Shield games that were being played elsewhere in Australia—Brisbane, and Melbourne—were abandoned at the end of the day, with Cricket Australia stating that “Given how players across the country are feeling right now, it’s just not the day to be playing cricket.”

On the morning of 27 November 2014, Hughes died from his injuries, three days before his 26th birthday As a result of Phil Hughes‘ death, calls were made for improvements to batting helmets and this has resulted in new designs which have additional guards fitted to the rear of the helmet.

However, an independent review released by Cricket Australia states that “The now mandated British Standard helmet would have offered no protection where he was struck. There is limited scientific evidence that current neck guards will prevent a similar tragedy and they must be properly evaluated before they are mandated.”

 After the review was completed in 2016, it was concluded that the incident was purely accidental, and any changes made to improve safety during the review period, such as mandatory helmets for wicketkeepers, close-in fielders, and batsmen facing fast or medium pace bowling (even during net sessions) would not have prevented the accident. Also, for all Cricket Australia-sanctioned matches, defibrillators are made available at all grounds since the tragic incident took place.

Gary Kirsten


This former South Africa opener was left badly bruised by the Rawalpindi Express. During a Test match in 2003, Shoaib Akhtar, running in at full steam, bowled a short delivery that Kirsten tried to hook. He missed the ball completely – the ball lodged into the visor and hit his cheek. Kirsten removed his helmet and there was blood all over resulting from a gash in his left eye. He had ten stitches on his eye and a sustained a broken nose.

Scans further revealed that he had a broken nose. however, with South Africa in a spot of bother at 146/4 in the second innings, Kristen walked out to bat and scored a valiant 46 before getting out.


Mark Boucher

Mark Boucher suffered a serious eye injury on 9 July 2012, after being struck on his left eye by a bail. He was not wearing a protective helmet or glasses when he was struck by the bail after leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled Somerset’s, Gemaal Hussain. Following surgery to the eyeball, Boucher was ruled out of the rest of the tour. Due to the severity of the injury, Boucher—who had planned to retire at the end of the tour—retired from International Cricket abruptly on 10 July.

There was damage to the retina, so it was felt that there was a chance for Boucher to recover some vision in the damaged eye. After undergoing two operations on his injured eye, surgeons announced that they were “cautiously optimistic” but deemed him unfit to play cricket in the future.

Anil Kumble

anil kumble

This is one of the most courageous gestures ever on the cricket field. Anil Kumble suffered a broken jaw after being hit by a rising delivery from paceman Mervyn Dillon on the second day of the Antigua Test in 2002. But Kumble, with his face heavily bandaged, came on to bowl at a later stage of the game and even managed to pick up the wicket of legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara before flying to Bangalore for surgery.


The sight of Anil Kumble emerging from the pavilion, ready to bowl, his face bandaged, in the Antigua Test of 2002, is one of cricket’s most inspiring.

Kumble sent down 14 consecutive overs and became the first bowler to dismiss Brian Lara while bowling with a broken jaw. He was due to fly back to Bangalore the following day for the surgery, and as he said, “At least I can now go home with the thought that I tried my best.

“It was one of the bravest things I’ve seen on the field of play,” said Viv Richards later.

Mark Vermeulen

In 2004, Zimbabwe’s Mark Vermeulen fractured his skull after being hit by a bouncer from Irfan Pathan in a triangular series match against India in Brisbane. Vermeulen top-edged a hook and the ball struck him above the right eye, crashing in between the visor and grill of his helmet. Vermeulen was rushed to a hospital where he had reconstructive surgery for a depressed skull fracture. He spent three hours in surgery and was left with a plate in his head and with a warning from doctors that if he got hit again, he will never survive. After the injury, Vermeulen was out of international cricket until he made a lucky comeback latter half of 2014.

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