Hampshire and West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards suffered a broken ankle warming up in a pre-match football kick-about on the final day of the County Championship match away to title-holders Yorkshire at Headingley, the south coast club announced Thursday.
It was the latest setback for Hampshire, who have nevertheless managed to draw their opening two matches in this season’s First Division despite a raft of injuries that include newly-signed England paceman Reece Topley breaking his hand on club debut.
How long Edwards remains sidelined due to a damaged right ankle is unclear, with a statement on Hampshire’s website posted Thurday saying: “Fidel will see a specialist today (Thursday 21 April), which will help determine the predicted length of time that he will be out of action for.”
Edwards, who labelled his injury as a ‘broken leg’ in an Instagram post from hospital, suffered the injury while playing football on the Headingley outfield on Wednesday.
Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein told Southampton’s Southern Daily Echo newspaper: “We were only 45 seconds away from the end of the (football) game when Fidel went to kick the ball.
“I was just about to get the mitts on for fielding practice when his foot got stuck in the turf, and all his weight went over on it.
“There was no one near him. It was a really freakish fall, and there was a loud crack,” the former South Africa international added.
There have long been concerns about the risks cricketers run in engaging in often vigorous pre-match football games, which don’t assist with core cricket skills.
In 2009, England batsman Joe Denly’s international career was derailed before had made his debut when he suffered a knee injury in a football warm-up following a clumsy challenge by England team-mate Owais Shah.
And last year Lancashire coach Ashley Giles told the Manchester Evening News: “I don’t like football as a warm-up. There’s a high risk of injury; I think it’s unhealthy.
“You don’t see Stuart Lancaster (the then England rugby union coach) warming up the rugby team with a few throw-downs before a rugby game,” the former England left-arm spinner added.