Bowler Gilbert misses first game in 18 years
Last updated at 19:51, Thursday, 12 July 2012
After 18 years and 300 consecutive matches, Braithwaite cricketer Gilbert Pyke’s record-breaking run came to an abrupt end.
The sensational sequence began during the 1995 curtain raiser against Wetheral, and Pyke had not missed an Eden Valley Cricket League game until consultants diagnosed a detached retina in his left eye.
Rushed to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary for surgery last Wednesday, Pyke – the league’s second most deadliest wicket taker with 460 victims – missed the trip to Kirkby Stephen.
Unbeaten this season with the 48-year-old leading the bowling attack, Braithwaite slumped to a four-wicket defeat at Hillsbottom Field.
He said: “I was distraught because I love playing cricket, but my sight is of paramount importance.
“I was ringing the lads every 15 minutes and they were sending messages every five overs.
“I am a terrible spectator because I am so used to being in the middle helping out my team.
“After just one game I already miss the camaraderie of the dressing room, and it will be tough to sit out the next couple of games.
“It’s Sod’s Law that we lost the first game I wasn’t there, but I know they will make amends at home to Longtown.”
Short-sighted Pyke, of Gilcrux, suffered facial trauma during a bad fall 18 years ago – two reasons why the painful eye injury could have occurred.
Pyke, who bats at No11, is expected to make a full recovery, and has targeted a return to action in just two weeks.
He makes the 36 mile round trip to Braithwaite’s Institute Ground every week because of his love affair with the sound of leather on willow.
He said: “I’ve had the problem for some time, but it has never been diagnosed.
“I knew something was wrong and a consultant confirmed the damage.
“I still can’t see out of my eye, but the specialists are positive I will get full sight back.
“It was recommended that I take a month out of the game, but I am aiming to get back in half that time.
“This injury has ruined my record, but I am proud of what I have achieved. There can’t be many people who can boast an 18-year career without missing a game!”
First published at 19:25, Thursday, 12 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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