• Saturday, May 21, 2022

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Metal plate removed from ex-India skipper’s skull 60 years on

India’s former Test cricket captain Nari Contractor (R) gestures while discussing batting technique with England’s Graham Gooch (ROB ELLIOT LTT/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

Doctors have removed a metal plate from the skull of India’s former cricket captain Nari Contractor — 60 years after it was put in following a near-fatal bouncer by West Indies’ Charlie Griffith.

The nasty blow to the back of his head when facing the Barbados fast bowler in a 1962 tour game put a premature end to Contractor’s international career after 31 Tests and left him seriously hurt.

Contractor underwent numerous operations including having the titanium plate installed that same year.

His son Hoshedar Contractor told AFP that the former skipper, now 88, was recovering well after the implant was taken out in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday.

“As a family, our concern was about how he would be able to handle post-op at this age. But he’s doing absolutely fine and is mobile,” he said.

“The doctors Dr Harshad Parekh and Dr. Anil Tibrewala did a great job.”

Contractor was losing skin in the area of his head where the plate was so they decided to remove it, his son said.

Aside from his nasty injury, Contractor is also famous for scoring 81 runs against England at Lord’s in 1959 despite a Brian Statham blow that broke two of his ribs.

The left-handed opener said in a 2009 interview that when he was hit in Barbados he had been distracted when “somebody opened a window in the pavilion”.

Frank Worrell, the West Indies captain at the time, several of his team-mates and Indian players donated blood as doctors battled to save Contractor’s life.

Batsmen did not wear helmets at the time.

“There were no sight screens at that time and my 100 percent concentration wasn’t on that delivery. I saw it just inches away before it hit me,” Contractor told the DNA newspaper.

“But it isn’t true that I ducked.”

Eastern Eye

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