THERE is nothing that legislation or equipment can do to prevent serious accidents in the deep field. Kyle Wilson has become the latest player to suffer at first class level, breaking his leg during a one-day match in Johannesburg.
Wilson, 21, in his first season with Border, was fielding in the CSA Provincial one-dayer against Gauteng at the ABSA Oval on November 28 and collided with team-mate Lucky Pangabantu as they sprinted for Pieter van Zyl's lofted straight drive, converging from long-on and long-off with eyes only on the ball. Play was held up for several minutes after this incident.
The best known, and more serious, collision occurred at Kandy in 1999 during the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia when Steve Waugh's face met Jason Gillespie's leg at deep square leg as they both raced for a catch from Mahela Jayawardena's sweep shot.
The collision was so violent Waugh felt he was lucky not to have broken his neck, escaping with wrecked nose. Gillespie broke his left wrist and right leg, both players having to be airlifted to hospital.
CHARLIE SAYS: It has happened to me in a Radlett club match in the 1970s, running full tilt for a lofted straight drive from long-off. The converging collision with the Herts fast bowler Nick Draper came as a shock I still remember to this day. My shoulder hit his sternum and he was severely winded, when the incident could have been far worse for either of us.