Hopes to be fit for World Cup January 10, 2007

Benson to have heart surgery

Cricinfo staff

Mark Benson fell ill during the second Test between South Africa and India © Getty Images
Mark Benson, the former England Test batsman turned international umpire, is to undergo minor heart surgery next month after suffering palpitations during the second Test between South Africa and India at Durban in December.

Benson was forced to leave the field on the third day of the Test after feeling unwell and he was taken to hospital where he stayed under observation. He still hopes to have recovered in time to take his position at the World Cup in March.

"I wasn't very well for a time because my heart rate suddenly went up to 190 beats a minute, but I've had palpitations like this before," he told the Kentish Gazette. "There's no pattern to it and the doctors aren't sure what triggers it, but when it goes I have to get to hospital and have an injection to correct the rhythm."

He added: "It's not uncommon to be honest and other cricketers like Chris Gayle have successfully beaten this."