Sometimes cricketing stories are about a little more than just runs and wickets. Sometimes they can be about serious issues such as life and death. For Michael Carberry, his story was a matter of life and death.
Last November, after another prolific summer with Hampshire which helped cement the progress he made over the winter when he was capped by England, Carberry was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs as he prepared to fly to Australia as part of an England Performance Squad.
The condition was serious enough to prompt fears for the 30-year old’s life let alone his future as a cricketer, but thankfully following close medical attention and rehabilitation he managed to recover bit-by-bit.
As he said in an interview with BBC Radio Solent in April:
“It’s been a rollercoaster winter, and I’m gutted not to be starting the season. More importantly, I’m just pleased to be alive.”
So as he raised his bat today when he reached his century en route to a battling 140 not out it was understandably an emotional moment for him, and for those who have worked with him during his recovery.
It was a key sign that he was on his way back, that his game was back in decent shape, that his mindset had not been affected by his traumas but also a sign that he could return to the heights which he had touched before his enforced layoff.
Lest we forget that this was a cricketer who little more than 18 months ago was capped by England in a Test Match in Bangladesh and was considered to be the Test openers understudy prior to the Winter tour Down Under.
Here’s hoping that today is the first of many good moments he enjoys as he seeks to make up for lost time and put himself back into a similar position to challenge for international honours once again.
Though the number of contenders for an opening berth have swelled in the past six months, the claims of a fit again Michael Carberry should not be underestimated, especially after the challenges he has faced and overcome to get back to where he is today.