Yes, football is kind of an arsehole, but we can’t really blame it for injuring our cricketers

Jonny Bairstow risking HIS WHOLE PRECIOUS GODDAMN LIFE by kicking a football (via YouTube)

A cricketer misses an England game because he twisted his ankle in training. So far, so unremarkable.

A cricketer misses an England game because he twisted his ankle playing football in training. BAN FOOTBALL!

Way back in 2009, Joe Denly knackered something-or-other while playing football with his England team-mates and management did indeed decide to ban football.

At the time, it seemed like England’s cricketers were entirely unable to emerge from a half-arsed game of five-a-side without at least one person ending up on life support.

However, football was reintroduced for England’s cricketers in 2015 and since then there have been plenty of survivors. It could be that football isn’t actually monumentally dangerous. Maybe we just feel disproportionately outraged when injuries happen to cricketers during a game of football.

In one way, this is logical because football is an arsehole that annexes the majority of the sports pages for 12 months a year. In another way, it is illogical because if the players weren’t playing football they’d be bouncing around doing something else and someone or other would get injured somehow.

Injuries happen. Injuries are part of life.

Our friend Dan has a scar on his face. It is a very cool scar. If you had to guess what had caused it (and you didn’t know Dan at all well) there is about an 80 per cent chance you would go with ‘back alley knife fight’.

That would be incorrect, however. The true cause of the scar was in fact ‘careless removal of a T-shirt’.

Thinking it was a fine time to have a shower, Dan went to remove his T-shirt using a double-handed, bend-at-the-waist technique and he did so while standing on the landing of his home. He carried out his T-shirt-removal manoeuvre quite forcefully and in the process head-butted the newel post at the top of the bannister. It took him about 16 years to reveal the true cause of his injury to his brother and now that we think about it, it wasn’t even him that did so, it was us.

The point is that if you can near-enough knock yourself out disrobing, you can sustain an injury doing pretty much anything. Rob Key says playing football brings a cricket team together and that the good outweighs the bad and frankly that’s good enough for us.

This is an updated version of an article from October 2018 when Jonny Bairstow twisted his ankle.


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31 Appeals

  1. Imagine if a bunch if football players got injured playing cricket before a match — them managers would lose their shit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with blaming all of world’s ills on football (and golf).

  2. Perhaps they should replace football with netball.

  3. Fred has got a new job. The BBC article announcing this calls him “Ashes-winning former cricket captain Flintoff” – a description which is true in every detail but feels somewhat misleading overall. Better than being “former boxer Flintoff” I suppose?

  4. Glenn McGrath injured his ankle on a cricket ball minutes before an Ashes test. Ban cricket!

  5. Bert Jr. has a scar on his forehead, acquired only last week, glued up at Wythenshawe A&E. So far so unremarkable. As you rightly say about injuries, scars go with the territory of being a child at some point in your life (although he is 16 now). It was what he said to the triage nurse when she asked him about it that made it a touch more worthy of comment.

    I was hiding in a bush, and someone came running through it and they didn’t see me, and their gun hit me in the head.

    It’s the concatenation of all possible future events that hits you in circumstances like this. They all appear at once. You hear the phone call, the sirens, the interviews, the cell doors slamming, and all this puts you off what should be your calm explanation. Instead you blurt it out – “He was playing laser quest”, too quickly, too abruptly, way too suspiciously. Maybe you force a laugh. And then it’s two hours of sitting in a spotlight of paranoia as all the nurses and doctors get on with their jobs way too pointedly.

  6. Bit weird when you click on an article to see who has commented and you realise that one of them is yourself… spooky

  7. Despite my having led a pretty active life and being monumentally clumsy, the only time I’ve needed surgery was due to rupturing a figure extensor tendon removing a sock.

  8. The original version of that article was published on our (my & Daisy’s) first day in Japan:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/2018/10/20/japan-day-one-tokyo-20-october-2018/

    We did a lot while avoiding injury. The remarkable thing, though, is that I do remember reading the above article.

  9. While writing, I think my conversation with Daisy at breakfast this morning about the current test match might amuse.

    I told her about Rory Burns’s football injury, but of course her biggest bug bear is not football injuries. It is the ludicrously childish nicknames the England players tend to have for each other, mostly based on adding the letter Y to an abridged form of the name.

    “OK, so who’s in the team then?”, asked Daisy.

    “Crawley, Sibley, Denly…” (so far, so genuine)

    …”Rooty, Stokesy, Popey”…

    “Lay off”, interjects Daisy…

    …”Butty, Curry, Bessy, Jimmy & Broady”.

    “We must have the most infantile team in world cricket”, said Daisy.

  10. That picture. Darwin Award candidate right there. You should put a trigger warning for those of us who don’t enjoy watching people risk their lives doing something outrageously stupid.

  11. What do footballers play during practice to get injured

    Or to put it the other way, how do football players NOT manage to get injured during practice

    Maybe Rory Burns needs to practice more of practicing football, so that he can avoid getting injured in practice

  12. I have a scar on my forehead from swimming.

    Well, from running into the changing room door at the swimming pool as the result of an ill-advised footrace against a friend who was fast enough to run down the corridor, open the door, get through it and for it to close before I got there.

    Dangerous sport, swimming.

    • King Cricket

      January 3, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      This seems to us to break one of the fundamental rules of swimming pools. Did you also indulge in bombing and heavy petting?

    • Ooh, talk about dangerous sports! I badly hurt my finger at fencing training once, by slamming it in the changing room door.

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