Sport is one of those careers that demands fitness as a priority option. In this current day and age, where each sport is becoming more competitive, fitness governs a player’s career to a large extent. In such circumstances, playing with a disability at the highest level is one of the unimaginable things that a player can do. However, there have been instances when cricketers have with disability have gone on to represent their countries at the highest levels. Such players who tend to follow their passion become an inspiration for the generations to follow.
Here’s a look at 5 handicapped cricketers who overcame their disability to play international cricket:
1. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the man who’s popularly remembered for galvanizing players to play for India, and not for their state teams, was the youngest Indian captain. In 1961, a 20-year Pataudi met a car accident when he lost his vision after a couple of glass pieces thudded into his eyes. However, this didn’t prevent him from pursuing his passion as he continued to play for India. He played with vision in just one eye but never did it affect his game. Under his leadership, India registered its first-ever Test series win overseas in New Zealand in 1968.
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, famously known for being the part of India’s spin quartet, was a deceptive leg-spinner and of the best of his time. However, Chandra, as he’s usually referred to as, suffered from poliomyelitis. It is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It could lead to muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. Despite problems in his right arm, which was badly affected, the leggie ended up with 242 wickets in 58 Tests. He represented India from the period between 1964 and 1979.
3. Tong Greig
A Cricketer turned commentator, Tony Grieg was a master at his job in his second innings. However, the former English captain suffered from Epilepsy before his cricket career was seen cut-short by his interests that drew his towards Kerry Packer’s World Series in 1977. Tony Grieg was a quality all-rounder who bowled medium pace and off-spin. He scored eight Test centuries for England and picked six five-wicket hauls in his 58-match Test career.
4. Len Hutton
Len Hutton, the former England opener was regarded as one of the greatest batsmen by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Hutton, who scored the highest individual score of 364 runs only in his sixth Test appearance, suffered from asymmetrical arms. His left arm was two inches shorter than his right arm, which resulted after an injury on the last day of the Commando training. However, it didn’t disrupt his ambitions to continue playing cricket. He resumed professional cricket in 1943 and continued to play for England until 1955 before calling it a day upon his 79-match Test carer.
5. Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill, one of Kiwis most prolific run-scorer in limited-overs cricket, met a vicious injury at the tender age of 13. He was involved in a forklift accident and lost three toes, leaving his left feet with only two toes. However, the 33-year still continues to plunder runs for New Zealand in the white-ball cricket with the utmost ease. In World Cup 2015, Guptill registered his highest individual score of 237 against West Indies at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.