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Thread: Bouncers in the old days

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    Bouncers in the old days

    How dangerous would they have been? Were many batsmen hit by them or was it very rarely that someone got hit?

    I'm asking this because nowadays, every few matches or so someone seems to get hit on their helmet. Obviously, batsmen now are more inclined to pull but quite a few get hit simply trying to evade the ball.

    Personally I have been hit just above my eye socket from a throw a few meters away from me. It didn't really hurt on impact but it did leave a huge mark and painful bruising for a few months.

    Hence, I would imagine a delivery of over 90mph would be pretty much fatal if you got hit. Add uncovered pitches into the equation and I can't help but wonder that there would have been a fair few casualties.

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    International Coach wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glacier View Post
    How dangerous would they have been? Were many batsmen hit by them or was it very rarely that someone got hit?

    I'm asking this because nowadays, every few matches or so someone seems to get hit on their helmet. Obviously, batsmen now are more inclined to pull but quite a few get hit simply trying to evade the ball.

    Personally I have been hit just above my eye socket from a throw a few meters away from me. It didn't really hurt on impact but it did leave a huge mark and painful bruising for a few months.

    Hence, I would imagine a delivery of over 90mph would be pretty much fatal if you got hit. Add uncovered pitches into the equation and I can't help but wonder that there would have been a fair few casualties.

    Less than you'd think. Mainly because batsmen made sure they got their unprotected heads out of the way.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    In the first 100 years of Test cricket (i.e. before helmets came in) there were only two really serious injuries involving head injuries - unless I've forgotten any - those involving Nari Contractor and Ewan Chatfield. Quite surprising really.

    Even in first-class cricket I only know of one fatality in the 20th century - a player called Abdul Aziz died after being hit over the heart during a domestic match in Pakistan in the late 50s.

    http://content.cricinfo.com/pakistan...ch/385932.html

    Even that probably wasn't a genuine bouncer - just 'back of a length' as they say nowadays.
    Last edited by stumpski; 16-04-2009 at 12:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    Less than you'd think. Mainly because batsmen made sure they got their unprotected heads out of the way.
    I remember Kallis being hit recently by Johnson and he actually was trying to get out of the way.

    Edit: With uncovered pitches, wouldn't deliveries have bounced unpredictably, making it even more difficult to know when to duck or play.


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    State Regular Maximus0723's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    Less than you'd think. Mainly because batsmen made sure they got their unprotected heads out of the way.
    or b.c players didn't bowl that fast?

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    If you get hit on the head by a cricket ball at 50mph, you're still in plenty of danger of having serious damage done.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    In the first 100 years of Test cricket (i.e. before helmets came in) there were only two really serious injuries involving head injuries - unless I've forgotten any - those involving Nari Contractor and Ewan Chatfield. Quite surprising really.
    Bert Oldfield?

    Who reckoned that but for his BaggyGreen Larwood would have killed him in that Adelaide Test.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    Less than you'd think. Mainly because batsmen made sure they got their unprotected heads out of the way.
    Yeah, it's simple cause-effect. No protection = more care about whether you got hit or not. More protection = everso slightly reduced care about that.

    Many bowlers and batsmen of the '70s have commented that batsmens' techniques for playing the short delivery are appalling now - because they can, relatively speaking, afford to be. You're no longer likely to be playing with your life.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    There are a number of points.

    There were less fast bowlers around, bouncers wre bowled less (there were, IMO sad, series where gentlemans agreements were in place not to bowl bouncers, and the technique playing short balls was different.

    Players get hit now as they play the short ball differently. Todays players do not watch the ball all the way. Not an issue as they dont have to as they are protected but there is a considerable difference.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there will be edits

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    I don't think in the history of first class and test circket that a batsmen has ever been killed by being hit in the head, fielders have however.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As David notes, Abdul Aziz was. Think he's the only one I've ever heard of though.

    EDIT: apparently he was hit on the heart. I always thought it was on the head.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Didn't Ken Rutherford get badly injured by being hit on the bonce whilst batting?

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Mike Gatting got a free facelift from Marshall as well, obviously

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    Jimmy Adams wasn't the same batsmen after he had his cheekbone smashed by Andre Van Troost of Somerset, became more and more defensive.

    I was once hit by a fairly quick lad with a full toss to the chest in the nets, he must have been about 70-75 (military medium by international standards) and hideously erratic, I couldn't get out the way or hit it as it swung massively (one of those cheap laquered balls from India, you know they swing incredibly for about 5 overs then die). Dropped me like a stone, had never felt like I couldn't breathe at all like I couldn't there, not a fun experience. There was a seam mark next to my nipple for about 2 days, weirdly not much bruising mind. Worst part was he'd already batted so I couldn't get my own back.

    Mark Vermeulen got a really nasty one to the face whilst wearing a helmet, somehow it got through the gap and hit him really square. It was a compression fracture accross one side of his face, I remember watching and it looked like someone had pressed one side of his face back by a cm or so with their hand, very very nasty. Incredibly he walked off the field with great composure, I would have demanded a bloody airlift after that. He suffered a severe change in personality after that apparently and eventually torched the Zimbabwe National Academy, poor chap's making his way back into the game now though.
    Last edited by oitoitoi; 16-04-2009 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    Mike Gatting got a free facelift from Marshall as well, obviously
    Where exactly did it hit you? Lol, classic...

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