“The operation went very well. He is stable and recovering well,” Contractor’s son Hoshedar said.
The incident held major significance in the history of Indian cricket for effectively cutting short the international career of Contractor, a brave-hearted Parsee, although he continued to play the game for almost 10 years after that. Sir Frank Worrell, captain of the West Indies team at the time, donated blood with a few of his teammates as the contractor fought for his life in a hospital in Brabados. Worrell’s reputation preceded him in India, where the Bengal Cricket Association (CAB) named its annual blood donation camp on the day of its founding “Frank Worrell Day”.
Talk to Gulf News in a phone interview, the son of Contractor – an average pace player who played for Mumbai as well as India Under-19s in the late 70s, said the family had no other choice than to decide on a surgical intervention. ”The skin of the skull, where the plate was inserted, was degenerating and the risk of infection was enormous. It could have led to something more serious like meningitis,” Hoshedar said.
When asked how the entrepreneur coped with the aftermath of this injury, his son said that Nari fought the setback with a lot of positivity. ”He was not one to get bogged down in self-pity and continued to play first-class cricket. In fact, he almost got selected again for the visit to Australia, but that didn’t happen,’ Hoshidar said.
”I was barely a year old when the incident happened. However, when I wanted to resume the game, he encouraged me to the end. I was part of an Indian U19 team to tour Pakistan and picked up 15-16 wickets during the tour,’ Hoshedar recalled.
The Contractor family are happy that a lot has been done for batsmen’s safety and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has now introduced concussion substitutes. “Modern protection is welcome as prevention is better than cure. If you watch IPL matches, you’ll see there are so many incidents of batsmen hitting the helmets,’ Hoshedar said.
In a conversation with this publication in 2014 after Phil Hughes was injured, Contractor himself said the game should no longer change its laws in favor of batsmen. “You have to realize that such an incident (Hughes) happened after 52 years – it’s an accident,” Nari had said. The Australian, who was in a coma, died a few days later.