It could have been a lot worse, says Simon Jones after Mohammad Amir escapes serious injury
Mohammad Amir escaped a serious injury during the first Test against Australia at the Gabba, after he jammed his knee while fielding on the first day. He was helped off the field after what looked like very serious damage to his right knee, but later returned to the park to continue his spell.
The incident happened during the 70th over of the Australia innings, when Peter Handscomb tucked a Wahab Riaz delivery to the deep midwicket fence. Amir, running in from square leg, slid across to field the ball, but his right knee got stuck in the grass and broke his momentum. He tumbled across, writhing in pain as he clutched onto his right knee, the damage looking very serious.
His teammates ran across to help him where he lay on the ground, holding his right leg. The physio was quick to reach the spot, surrounded by his concerned teammates. He was seen grimacing when the physio probed his knee.It was evident that Amir had trouble putting his weight on the right foot, as he lay on the sidelines, groggily trying to get up.
Luckily for Amir, the injury didn’t turn out to be as serious as it looked to be in real time. He was fine enough to walk back onto the ground and continue his spell.
The incident was eerily similar to what happened with English pacer Simon Jones during the Ashes test in 2002. Jones ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament at the very same venue when his right knee got stuck in the turf while fielding.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Simon Jones deemed Amir lucky enough to have survived a serious injury which could have threatened to truncate a potentially great career.
“I think from seeing the footage he was very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse. Fingers crossed he's fine and makes a quick recovery”, Jones said.
The then 23-year old pacer was sidelined from the game for a long time, returning for the tour to the Caribbean after a period of four months. He was one of England’s stars in the 2005 Ashes, bamboozling the Australians with his reverse swing, picking up 18 wickets at an average of 21.00 to hand England their first Ashes win since 1986-87.
Apart from the physical aspect, the mental trauma, and the anguish of being sidelined for a long time plays in the mind of a sportsman. While Amir, who is scheduled for a scan the next morning, returned to action the same day, while Jones had to spend a long time getting his body back in shape. Speaking on the mental repercussions of such an injury, and how difficult it is to bounce back, Jones said:
“It depends on the individual. He'll be fine: he’s young and brave. He'll think twice about it in future, but he'll be fine”.
We hope Amir is back to full fitness, the next time he comes to bowl. The world nearly lost the precocious talent for his misdoings as a teenager six years back, an injury at this stage would have been a terrible jolt to what has been cricket’s comeback of the year.