GARRY SOBERS: Sept 1959: Garfield Sobers, who had smashed a record 365 not out in a Test innings against Pakistan a year ago, was in the driver’s seat when the car collided with a 10-ton cattle wagon in Stoke, England. Sobers escaped with minor injuries but fellow travellers, Test cricketers Tom Dewdney and Collie Smith, fared worse. Smith, whose spine was fractured, died a few days later. He was 26. The hugely talented all-rounder from Jamaica was a close friend of Sobers. Tony Cozier wrote in an article many years later that shaken by the injury, Sobers took to heavy drinking before he steeled himself up to forge a glittering career.
MAK PATAUDI: July 1961: He was 20 and like his father, Pataudi senior, was hitting centuries with abandon at Oxford. On July 1 after lunching out, Pataudi rode a Mini Minor with Calcutta-born teammate Robin Waters at the wheels. On their way to the team hotel, their car was struck by another car — a Humber Super Snipe, according to Wisden — in Hove, England. A glass splinter entered Pataudi’s right eye causing permanent damage. “The prognosis was gloomy, but medical opinion reckoned without the Nawab’s determination,” Wisden said in his 2012 obituary. Within a year, Tiger Pataudi had overcome the setback, including double vision, to captain India.
Cricketing world prays for star cricketer Rishabh Pant’s speedy recovery
COLIN MILBURN: May 1969: Bulky and big hitting, Colin Milburn would’ve been a perfect fit for England’s flamboyant Bazball squad. Milburn lost his left eye when the car he was driving collided with a lorry near Northampton, England. He was 27. The genial cricketer, said to be the life of any party, briefly came back to first-class cricket in early 1970s. But progressed no further. He died at 48.
Watch: When Rishabh Pant’s car hit divider at high speed
ANDREW SYMONDS: May 2022: Recognizable by his distinct dreadlocks, powerful strokes and superlative fielding, all-rounder Andrew Symonds died in a car accident near Townsville, Australia. He was 46. Symonds’ four-wheel drive had veered off the highway for reasons unclear. There were failed attempts to revive him on the spot. He was travelling with his two dogs. One of them refused to leave his side, eye witnesses said.
Watch: Localities come to Rishabh Pant’s rescue
ANDREW FLINTOFF: Dec 2022: Flintoff, a talismanic all-rounder for England in his playing days, was seriously hurt while presenting BBC’s Top Gear show. He had earlier been involved with two more crashes while presenting the show, a BBC report said.
Watch: How Rishabh Pant’s car rammed into a road divider
BEN HOLLIOAKE: March 2002: The gifted Melbourneborn allrounder, who played two Tests for England, was driving a Porsche in south Perth when he lost control and hit a brick wall. The crash proved to be fatal for the talented cricketer. He was 24.