It was revealed yesterday that hall of fame cricket legend Matthew Hayden fractured his spine while surfing North Stradbroke, or Straddie, after running his forehead into the sandbar. Hayden, who is most famous for his ability as a batsman, holds the record for the highest score ever made by an Australian and the second highest innings by an Australian ever in India.
He was quoted in the Times of India as saying:
“It was an hour into the session and we had had half dozen waves together and I got this one right handed wave which I sort of ducked under and that is pretty much all I can remember.”
“I wasn’t knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank onto the top of my head. Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave.”
“I heard this god almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back.”
Hayden said he was able to get back onto the beach, but had scans later that day, which revealed the extent of his injuries.
It is a wonder, miracle even, that more surfers don’t get brutally and ghoulishly disfigured every day. Imagine all the things that can go wrong. Between water, rock, sand, kook, SUP, shark, brain-eating amoeba, etc. And yet imagine how rare news like actually is.
And back to cricket, briefly. It is not a popular sport in the United States, either to watch or play, and this is a great shame. I learned of the joys whilst in an Indian hill station many years ago. Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan was playing on the television in a coffee shop and a kindly Indian man spent two hours explaining the nuances of the game, the differences between test cricket and one-day cricket etc.
It very well might be the perfect game. Either cricket or Australian Rules Football.
Tell me a better. I dare you.