August 15, 2002

Charlie van der Gucht returns to cricket after 13-month lay-off

Van der Gucht
Charlie van der Gucht
Photo Mike Atkelsky
Hampshire left-arm spinner Charlie van der Gucht is set to play his first match in 13 months tomorrow (Sat), after suffering career-threatening injuries in a road traffic accident in west London last July.

He has earmarked the Hampshire Academy's Southern Electric Premier League match against Old Tauntonians & Romsey at the Romsey Sports Centre, 1pm for his comeback.

The 22-year old was left fighting for his life after being run over by a taxi last summer.

He suffered two badly broken legs and developed two blood clots on his lungs. But has courageously fought his way back, completing his History degree at Durham University at the same time as working long hours in the gym and gradually attaining near match fitness.

"Since he came back from university, Charlie's been doing a lot of bowling in the nets and is now working on his mobility in the field," said Hampshire 2nd XI coach Tony Middleton.

"It's been a hard graft for him, but it's been a real inspiration for the other lads to watch him come back from such horrific injuries and now be on the verge of playing again.

"He badly wants to play tomorrow and everyone will be willing him on."