Days After Golf Cart Concussion, Glenn Maxwell Fights Cramps To Register 'Greatest World Cup Knock'
Glenn Maxwell registered arguably the greatest knock in the history of World Cups as he single-handedly led Australia to a 3-wicket victory against Afghanistan, scoring an unbeaten 201.
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is the name on every fan's lips at the moment. His stupendous 201 not-out against Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup 2023 match on Tuesday arguably went down in history as the greatest individual performance in ODI cricket. The veteran cricketer, who came into the match after recovering from a concussion he had suffered a few days ago following his accidental fall from a golf cart, was almost forced to retire due to multiple cramps and back spasms.
About a week ago, Maxwell had hit his head and suffered bruises as he had fallen from a golf cart on his way from the clubhouse to the team hotel. As per Cricket Australia's protocols, he was kept in observation the following days and the incident even saw him miss the team's World Cup match against England. Lack of practice during these days made him prone to cramps and muscle spasms. But, even they couldn't prevent him from recording a double ton against the Afghans.
Despite struggling to even move against Afghanistan, Maxwell channelled his inner golfer to hit sixes and fours purely on the basis of his mind-numbing hand-eye coordination. In fact, the next batter to come in, Adam Zampa, had run to the edge of the ground on multiple occasions to replace Maxwell but was sent back as the 'Big Show' decided to continue his fight in the middle.
Maxwell even admitted that when Australia was still more than 50 runs from victory, he nearly decided to retire hurt but then made his mind to keep the fight going.
He was on 147 at the time, with his team still needing 55 to win, and his exhaustion from bowling his entire 10-over quota during the hottest portion of the day had only made matters worse.
"We talked about coming off, trying to get some work into my back and trying to loosen up my legs a little bit. Jonesy (Nick Jones) the physio said it would be really hard for me to come back down the stairs after that. We just came up with 'let's stay at the same end' for as long as you can until you feel like you can walk to the other end or if there's an easy single here and there," Maxwell told cricket.com.au.
"It was a strange one because I was cramping in one of my toes, which was going up the front of my shin. Then as I set off to try and get down the other end, I cramped in my calf as well. I was cramping both sides of my lower leg, and as I went 'oh no, I'm cramping' I cramped in my left hamstring at the same time. I was like, I've got both legs cramping, and then I had a back spasm when I hit the ground," the all-rounder said.
Maxwell hit 33 balls in a row for 78, hardly moving as he swung at the ball but still finding the boundary every time.
Along with captain Pat Cummins, who would finish on 12 off 68 balls in two hours at the crease, Maxwell added that he really began to believe the miracle would be possible when the required total dropped to around 60 or 70 runs. The most important thing on his mind was making sure Afghanistan's main spinner Rashid Khan did not have a significant impact in his final few overs after removing Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc.
"We knew Rashid had about 18 balls left that was going to happen in the last 13 overs or something like that. As long as we kept him out of the game I felt like I could hit boundaries off the others. So was more about negating him, not letting him have a shot at the rest of the tail. If we could keep him out of the backend of the game we'd be alright," he said.
The right-hander, who had first got physio treatment when he was on 109, went on to knock seven more sixes and nine more fours in an almost unbelievable display that concluded the chase.
With ANI inputs