We have always complained so much about our life of that not being perfect and how exactly it could have been better in a million ways. We forget to be thankful and to make matter worse, we succumb to those woeful circumstances way too frequently. In the process of cribbing left and right, the most important element that we have forgotten is courage.
Only if we can house enough courage, even the most impossible cowers in front of us and we successfully conquer the insuperable. We will take a look at ten stories of superhuman guts today that was conjured by those extraordinary cricketers who could part ways with their life but kept cricket dearer to themselves.
1. Michael Atherton (Crippling back disease)
One of England’s finest openers, Mike Atherton was battling a degenerative disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. This has a crippling impact on your back and several British citizens have fallen prey to this menacing disease. He was diagnosed with AS at a tender age of 20, just when his cricketing career was on the brink of taking a full-scale flight.
However, he never relinquished hope and in the process, successfully defeated his biggest opponent, also carrying on with cricket, dragging a painful back, shrouded under the veil of a fixating smile.
2. Brian Lara (Hepatitis B)
Probably one of the best Test batsmen of our era, Brian Charles Lara came within inching distance of bidding adieu to his career as he was smitten by Hepatitis B in 2002.
He was axed from the subsequent ICC Champions Trophy and the following series to give him ample time for treatment. It seemed like a challenge for the doctors but Lara was seen recuperating at a very speedy rate and he was back to the ground in no time.
In 2004, Lara claimed the mantle of the highest score in a Test Innings from Hayden after he went on to smash a brilliant 400.
3. Michael Slater ( Arthritis)
Suffering from an acute form of arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Slater was down with the exact same ailment that got Atherton. Slater was a very determined batsman and razed his opponents like skittles on his heydays. Despite suffering from intolerable throes, he still bowed out of the game with his head held high as one of the most phenomenal openers of the game.
4. Martin Guptill (Two toes)
In a freak accident at the unripe age of 13 years, Guptill had to lose three of his toes. Being a child, his left foot was crushed by a fork hoist and was battling death. However, his life was bailed out at the cost of three of his toes. That is exactly why he relishes the name, “Two Toes” as that acts a vivid reminder of his struggle. He is an imperative moniker of the New Zealand batting line up.
5. Craig McMillan (Diabetes)
A very significant all-rounder in the ranks of the Kiwis, McMillan’s cricketing career came to a very abrupt halt. However, while he was playing cricket in his heydays, he was also locked in a constant battle with diabetes.
Diagnosed with diabetes at a tender age of 15, he successfully played out an 11-year old career. He had to take four insulin shots a day to keep himself in a piece. He also had to consistently keep a major check on his food habits, diet, sleeping time and maintain a stringent discipline to be the successful cricketer he became. With a staggering 3116 runs in Test and 4707 runs in ODI, McMillan played on two fronts with equal conviction.
6. Ryan Harris (Floating bone)
Harris was known for his vicious swinging capability, and he has had stints with the Netherlands and Australia. He had a floating bone in his right knee which had to be removed. He could have easily gone back home and got it operated in the middle of the Ashes, however, such was his dedication that he chose to complete the series and then undergo the knife.
7. Michael Clarke (Serious back issues)
Right since his inception into domestic cricket he has been bearing an intolerable back issue that has dented him in several ways. However, the Australian all-rounder showcased class of the highest order to battle his pains and emerge as one of the most successful batsmen of all time.
8. Shoaib Akhtar (Multiple Injuries)
Imagine a ball being hurled at you constantly at around 150 kays, would you be scared? Maybe or maybe not. However, even the best of batsmen was scared. The Rawalpindi Express was one of the most intimidating bowlers, cricket has ever seen. However, all of it came at below half of his fitness level. His elbow could only function properly up to 42 percent. Akhtar’s fastest delivery still remains to be a record untouched.
9. Yuvraj Singh (Cancer)
After giving India the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj shortly started feeling the brunt of an unseen ailment that bogged him down visibly on the pitch. It was later found out that he is suffering from cancer. Being diagnosed at an early stage, Yuvraj started getting treated with priority. After fighting the toughest battle of his life with unprecedented courage, Yuvi emerged victoriously and announced his arrival to the field with a towering pull smashed into the stands.
10. Wasim Akram (Diabetes)
Akram was probably the best left-arm bowler witnessed by the world. However, in 1997, he was diagnosed with an acute form of diabetes. He left the game for quite a while to receive proper treatment. He returned in 1999 and successfully led Pakistan to unprecedented glory as not only did Pakistan triumph over India but Akram also notched up a string of hattricks to announce his arrival.