Umpire Russell Short stunned the crowd at Sunday’s Gordon Rigg T20 Group B Cup final by taking a catch. But his instinctive action has come at a cost – a hairline fracture of the sternum, bruised lungs and rib muscles.
The incident occurred during the Sandal innings when batsman Karl Hewitt struck a ferocious straight drive from the bowling of Northowram Fields skipper Josh Bennett.
Short takes up the story: “Karl Hewitt hit the ball straight and it deflected off Josh’s fingertips and was coming straight at me. I had my ball counter in my right hand and it was an instinctive reaction to catch the ball against my chest.
“Immediately, I saw Josh coming towards me trying to get the ball and claim a catch. I threw it to the ground and called dead ball.” Hewitt hit the next delivery for four but was later given out lbw by Short.
The 58-year-old, who is in his second year of umpiring, started to realise he had a problem when he felt a tightening in his chest and had trouble breathing.
On Wednesday he decided to get the injury checked out and X-rays revealed the damage he had sustained.
Short added: “Despite the injuries I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Perhaps I am going to have to ask for danger money in future.”