5 cricketers who missed games due to unusual reasons
It is very common for players to miss games due to bad form or ill-health. Professional cricket is tiring - both mentally and physically. And recent trends have shown cricket boards even resting their key players to preserve their energies for bigger matches and tournaments.
Taking a break has become a tactical tool to optimize the player's potential and longevity.
However, there have been instances when cricketers have missed the game owing to bizarre reasons. Here, we look at five such players who missed the game for unusual reasons.
5. Andrew Symonds
This happened during the 2008 Australia-Bangladesh one-day international series, when Andrew Symonds went fishing early in the morning, on a rest day. The management called for an urgent meeting to discuss some pressing issues, but Symonds could not attend the meeting and was dispatched home.
Before this incident, he had missed a 2005 ODI game against Bangladesh for being intoxicated. Australia lost that match.
Symonds' career suffered a lot because of his indiscipline and on-field disputes with the opposition players.
4. Gautam Gambhir
The Indian opener Gautam Gambhir missed out on a match in order to attend his sister's wedding reception. This happened during the 2009 series between India and Sri Lanka, when he wrote to the team management asking not to be included for the third match due to the occasion of his sister's wedding. This was accepted by the management.
When the news broke in the media, Gambhir was criticized for his decision by former cricketers and experts. The criticism was probably more pronounced because he was going through a purple patch and they wanted him to make the most of it.
3. Matthew Hayden
In 2006, Matthew Hayden broke his finger while ducking against a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match. But then another injury added to his woes as he was bitten by a dog while taking a run during the next match. The bite opened a 5 cm gash on his ankle.
Hayden said in an interview with the Sunday Mail, "It was a vicious attack. It just hasn't been my week."
He recovered in time to play for the Ashes series which Australia won quite comfortably by the scoreline of 5-0.
2. Aaron Finch
The reason will surprise many, as Aaron Finch had to sit out of the game against Gujarat Lions at the Wankhede Stadium because he didn't have his kit bag with him. Because Finch missed the game, Jason Roy got a chance to play instead.
You might wonder why he couldn't have played the game by buying or borrowing a different kit. But after the game, Brendon McCullum clarified to the media and cricket experts that Finch's contract with the sponsors did not allow him to use any other kit to play the game.
1. Sydney Barnes
The legendary bowler from England was approached by the MCC to accompany the English team while touring for the 1920-21 Ashes series. Sydney Barnes was 47 years old and hence wanted his wife and kids to accompany him. MCC refused his request, so he did not travel.
The eccentricity of Barnes was well-known, but this time it cost England their first ever 5-0 defeat at the hands of Australia.