Junaid Khan’s Concussion Induced Absence In The 2nd Test Match v. Sri Lanka (at the SCC) Bothers Me, Unduly.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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From 'urduwire.com' WITH THANKS. Click to access original and article.

From ‘urduwire.com’ WITH THANKS. Click to access original and article.

That Pakistan’s lead bowler, Junaid Khan, did NOT bowl even one ball in the Sri Lankan 2nd innings because of an apparent concussion bothers me, unduly, on multiple fronts and multiple levels.

Yes, of course, I did see him get hit on the helmet by Prasad. Watched it quite a few times, not counting all the replays provided by TEN Cricket. Yes, that is the first thing that bothers me and that bothers me like you would NOT believe.

To say I detest cricket helmets would be an understatement.

I hate cricket helmets and rue the day they became de rigueur.

Cricket helmets, as far as I am concerned, has ruined this noble sport. I just consider myself so lucky that I got to see much of my cricket BEFORE helmets came in.

As far as I am concerned Junaid got hit on the helmet BECAUSE he was wearing a bloody helmet!

That is not as stupid as it sounds and IF you didn’t understand what I was saying then you are obviously new to the game. IF he wasn’t wearing a helmet he would have been MORE CAREFUL. Helmets make an ‘HE MAN’ of everybody irrespective of their talents, technique and guts.

Cricket has been played for over 500 years.

Test cricket started in 1876 – 1877.

Bloody cricket helmets only started making an appearance in the early 1980s. So in the overall history of cricket helmets are new. DO NOT EVER FORGET THAT. I still remember, with a shudder each time, when Mike Brearley started wearing that padded stitched together sanitary pad on his head. I like Mike. I think he was one of the BEST captains the world has ever seen. But he ruined cricket.

I went and found this YouTube video of the CENTENARY Test, Eng. v. Aus., of course, at Lord’s in 1980. I was there, at Lord’s, at the Nursery End, on the last day, for a few hours. I had just flown back from Sri Lanka the day before. But, I wanted to be there.  Notice NOT a single bloody helmet and the bowlers are a damn site faster and better than bloody medium pacer Prasad.


I then went and found this from the ‘How Can You Ever Forget‘ Summer of 1979. I remember every Test from that Summer. What a Summer. Notice, no helmets. Watch Vivian in action. Now that was a batsman. He was so good. He was divine. Mahela Jayawardene not a patch on Viv. 


And lets just add these two pictures from the 1970s … possibly early 1980s. Of course that is Viv again. That is what a proper batsman is supposed to look like. A swaggering, devil-may-care gladiator. Vivian was THE MAN. Today’s batsmen are wimps HIDING behind helmets. And then my man, Gordon. Yes, I know Gordon started wearing a helmet in the last few years of his career — BUT that was after he started having eye problems. He was, understandably, worried that his suspect vision would get him into trouble.



My point is very simple. We used to play cricket without helmets and as far as I remember we didn’t have that many major injuries — and I think just one fatality, and that was a hit on the chest.

With helmets TOO MANY batsmen get hit on the helmet because they don’t bother to learn how to deal with short-pitched balls. [Yes, I have been hit on the head, 3 times quite hard, playing cricket.]

So that is my first gripe about Junaid. Damn helmet.

Second gripe. Don’t know how serious the injury was BUT we know he batted on after he got hit and even scored a boundary. They said he was concussed.

Well IF he was just but concussed he DEFINITELY should have bowled at least a few overs on the 4th Day. If he could stand up he should have bowled. This was a TEST MATCH. He was playing for his country. That he didn’t bowl bothers me.

OK. That is enough. Many subsidiary issues following on from this BUT these are the two main events.

OH! Angelo Matthews, the Sri Lanka’s God-fearing captain, checking and adjusting Prasad’s helmet when he came into bat in the 2nd innings, was pathetic. Looked like two sissies. Can YOU see Clive doing that.