Leg Cramps Strike Cricketers
Many Americans tend to compare cricket to baseball, a sport not known for muscle cramping issues. However, a key difference is that cricket at-bats can last a long time. How long? The longest at-bat in history took place in 1958, when Hanif Mohammad spent 970 minutes in the crease. More recently, Brendon McCullum of New Zealand batted for 774 minutes in a February 2014 match against India.
Over the weekend, Virat Kohli battled through muscle cramps to help India even the series with South Africa. However, Virat ultimately had to leave the game. When discussing with his team doctor about how to get rid of leg cramps, Virat had this to say, "The body stopped cramping when I came inside in the second innings, but when I was on the field; it felt a bit dicey. So the physio told me not to take a chance which could result into a muscle tear which might take a month and a half to heal."
Faf du Plessis, a mid-order batsman for South Africa also tried to ward off muscle cramps while batting. He hobbled through several pitches, but the pain was unrelenting, and he eventually fell onto his back in agony. Indian player MS Dhoni immediately grabbed Plessis' leg and began stretching it (picture above), in an effort to prevent his leg cramps from returning. It was to no avail, as Plessis had to leave the game and did not return.
Several other South African and Indian players received treatment for leg cramps. South Africa ultimately won the series.