County news February 25, 2014

Delay to surgery hurts Thakor

Vithushan Ehantharajah

Leicestershire allrounder Shiv Thakor is set to be out of action until the end of June after undergoing a second operation in two months to fix a troublesome broken finger which he played with throughout the 2013 season.

Thakor initially broke the middle finger of his left hand in the opening game of the England Under-19 tour of South Africa in January of last year, with the ECB insisting he return to the UK to have an operation as soon as possible.

But Leicestershire asked him to delay surgery so that he would not miss the start of the summer. As a result, the middle finger set in a position overlapping his ring finger, meaning he could barely grip his top hand onto the bat. Fielding was almost impossible, with Thakor having to go for almost everything with his right hand.

ESPNcricinfo understands Thakor wanted to undergo surgery straightaway, which would have meant missing the beginning of the summer. After consulting with specialists, Leicestershire advised against an operation, telling Thakor to manage the injury throughout the season, before seeking further help at the end of the year.

Despite the appearance of his finger and the pain he was suffering, he was not offered the option of a mid-season operation, despite consultations with a hand surgeon in London who felt the finger needed treatment straight away.

Eventually, almost 11 months after the break occurred, he went for surgery in Leeds, by which time complications had arisen. The first operation last December was supposed to correct the shape of the finger and allow it to bend, but the bone graft dissolved and the main joint was allowed to slide back into a bad position, making matters worse.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, director of cricket Phil Whitticase admitted the decision to play on with the injury had not worked: "It's a shame because ourselves and Shiv decided to go into the season and manage the injury and it hasn't worked out. He played through the pain and perhaps it affected his performance. The hope is that this second operation fixes things up and Shiv is able to make a full recovery."

Thakor is currently in the last year of his current deal with Leicestershire and Whitticase confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that an offer of an extension has been turned down. Talks are ongoing, with both parties keen to progress, but the feeling from those close to the player is that Leicestershire have not managed him well over the last 12 months. Despite this, Thakor is keen to contribute all he can to his home county in 2014 upon successfully completing his rehab.

Last season was a disappointing season for both himself and Leicestershire who finished bottom of the County Championship without a victory. Thakor, however, managed to play 35 matches in all three competitions and registered a maiden Championship century against Kent in April.

The whole affair has been a major setback for Thakor, a level-headed individual who has been touted for international honours after an impressive start to his professional career. In 2011, he became the first Leicestershire-born player to score a century on first-class debut (134 against Loughborough MCCU). A surprise omission from the Under-19 World Cup squad in 2012, he was appointed captain of the side at the beginning of 2013.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • raksha on March 3, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    Quite frankly words fail me in terms of how abysmally this matter has been handled. I would have thought that the utmost priority would have been to ensure that your players are in top form above all, but it is evident that this does not appear to be the case from this demonstration - What a shame!!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    Leicestershire CCC have responded to the article above and the comments are here.

    I'm not connected with the Club, merely a full member.

  • Gerald on February 26, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    It seems the real error on the part of LCCC was not initiating surgery halfway through the season and now they have marginalized a player of considerable talent. It really is incompetent to invest so much in a young player throughout the different age group teams at the club and then treat him like this, just as he's starting to blossom. What message does it send out to the other players and indeed to prospective cricketers from an Asian background in the county?

  • Stuart on February 25, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    This is a terrible dereliction of duty from the county. Forcing a young player to play with a broken finger and 'go through the pain barrier' is not acceptable at all. There is no way a player at the start of their career should be pressurised into a situation whereby they are playing whilst injured. It would have been very hard for Thakor to say he didn't want to play and he shouldn't have been put in that situation, of course a player at the start of their career is going to agree to play because they don't feel confident enough or brave enough to stand up to their club for fear of being marginalised. As a result of Leicestershire's irresponsibility and neglect, he's going to miss the start of the season and perhaps longer. I hope the ECB and the PCA look at this and start asking questions of the management and medical team at Grace Road especially why they allowed a promising young cricketer to play when he was struggling to even hold a bat or ball.

  • Darshin on February 25, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    Seems OK to play a match or two with a broken finger but a whole season of 35 matches? How stupid.. Didn't help at all as Leics finished bottom of everything..

  • Darshin on February 25, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    Seems OK to play a match or two with a broken finger but a whole season of 35 matches? How stupid.. Didn't help at all as Leics finished bottom of everything..

  • Fergus on February 25, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Fairly sure a decent employment lawyer could have a field-day with this. 'Duty of care' is obviously not a phrase in the vocabulary of the management. Seems especially poignant when they were so useless - his absence would have made no difference.

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