A blow that ended an international career

The incident happened 52 years before Phil Hughes was delivered a sickening blow on his helmet in Sydney on Tuesday.

“We were all frightened and shocked,” said Chandu Borde, recalling the moment when Nari Contractor went down after ducking into a short-pitched delivery from West Indies’ Charlie Griffith.

The year was 1962 and India was taking on host Barbados in a practice game ahead of the third Test. The left-handed Contractor, the Indian captain, was struck a severe blow in the area close to his right ear.

“Those were days when there were no helmets, no restriction on the number of bouncers in an over and no restrictions on beamers either. The pitches were uncovered. But it was the same for everyone then and we were prepared for the challenge. No complaints,” said Contractor to The Hindu on Tuesday.

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