… when helmets were for soldiers


A blog by ©hinaman:

a cricketing anecdote I grew up with,
about Nari Contractor and Charlie Griffiths
a constant reminder of the consequences of failing to evade a bouncer

Nari Contractor is helped off the field after being struck by Charlie Griffith © The Cricketer
Nari Contractor is helped off the field after being struck by Charlie Griffith © The Cricketer

Nari Contractor

1962
playing against Barbados
he ducked to a Charlie Griffith bouncer that did not rise

struck on the head, helped off the field with blood from nose and ears
he had fractured his skull and had intracranial haemorrhage
and needed multiple neurosurgery and metal plates.
he was critically ill for six days

what I did not know was many players had donated blood to save his life,
Sir Frank Worrell being one of them

Contractor to visit West Indies first time after skull injury

TimesofIndia | 1 Mar 2009, 1306 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: Four decades after suffering a near-fatal skull injury while ducking into a bouncer in a tour game, former India captain Nari Contractor will visit the Caribbean later this month as a special invitee to witness the formation of blood banks named after the first black West Indian cricket captain, Sir Frank Worrell.

“It (1962) was not a happy tour, but I’m going there for a cause and will be visiting the various islands. I have not visited them after returning in 1962,” said the former left-handed opener whose injury, sustained against Barbados and West Indian paceman Charlie Griffith, needed a surgical operation and a steel plate to be fitted into his skull.

One of the men who donated blood when he was in the hospital fighting for his dear life was his rival captain Worrell who himself, ironically, died of Leukaemia (Blood cancer) five years later. Reminded of this irony, Contractor, whose international career came to a grinding halt after the skull injury, said, “I suppose so. Man proposes, but God disposes.”

something I wished to share today with every cricket lover
many may remember the incident or, like I, had heard,
to some it may be just another story from
the past …

cricket was lot different in those days, and it is not just about the helmets

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2 Comments to “… when helmets were for soldiers”

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Thanks monish
for stopping by and your comment

His is a name I recall whenever a batsman gets hit on the head
so was when I read about him again, I thought I would share it with my visitors

©hinaman said this on March 5th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I met Nari Contractor at a alumni meet a few years ago which we had to organize as students when in college. We didn’t know anything about him and we discussed long about cricket of the past, the present and the future tours.

His passion for the game and understanding of it was evident as he recounted his experiences and gave his opinion of existing players.

monish said this on March 5th, 2009 at 10:01 am