Cricket

SA cricket legend breaks leg

2011-12-22 18:34
Norman Gordon (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Centenarian Norman Gordon, the world’s oldest living Test cricketer, suffered a fractured femur when he fell in his Hillbrow flat on Wednesday evening.

"I’ve just seen Norman and he's fine," said friend and former cricket boss Ali Bacher on Thursday.

"He fractured the upper part of his left femur, near the hip bone, and will be playing a day/night game as he undergoes surgery at 10pm tonight," Bacher joked, comparing the surgery to a 50-over format.

"If he can bowl 92.2 overs in Durban, in humid conditions, I’m sure he can get through this operation."

Representing South Africa in five Test matches in the 1938-39 season, Gordon is the sole survivor from the "Timeless" Test, played against England in Durban in March 1939.

The famous match spanned 10 days and ended in a draw.

Gordon was in the middle of bowling his 93rd over when the teams finally decided to call it a day as the touring side had to dash to catch a train to Cape Town and the mail boat back to England.

His 92.2 eight-ball overs bowled in that Test, equating to a mammoth 738 balls, still stands as the most number of balls bowled by a fast bowler in a Test match.

Gordon celebrated his 100th birthday in August this year, at a dinner held at the Wanderers, here. He was welcomed, fittingly, by a guard of honour made up of South African fast bowlers.

Neil Adcock, Peter Pollock, Mike Procter, Fanie de Villiers, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini were joined by legendary batsman Graeme Pollock, among other well-known cricket celebrities.

Gordon is in the Morningside Clinic and likely to spend at least one week there to recuperate after his operation.

"Norman is a determined man and I’m quite positive he will come through this surgery," said Bacher.

"I’m sure everyone joins me in wishing him a speedy and successful outcome from this operation."

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