Former Australian Test batsman Matthew Hayden, who amassed 8625 runs in 103 Tests at an average of 50.73, suffered a freak head and spinal injury while surfing in Queensland on a family holiday.
The former Australian opener was surfing with his son Josh near Stradbroke Island for over an hour before a wave caught him unaware, dumping him into a sandbank, fracturing his spine near the base of his neck while also tearing several ligaments.
Hayden took to Instagram to share the unfortunate news and was seen wearing a neck brace along with some serious head lacerations in the image that he uploaded. The cricketer also stated that he had an MRI and CT scan and was "on the road to recovery".
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Ok. Last attention seeking post I promise. Just wanted to say a big thank you to all our mates on Straddie who have been so supportive.✅??♂️? Especially Ben & Sue Kelley for the fast diagnosis with MRI, CT scan. Fractured C6, torn C5,C4 ligaments safe to say I truly have dodged a bullet. Thank you everyone ❤️ On the road to recovery ??♂️?
The 46-year-old told Brisbane's Courier Mail that he was "bloody lucky" to escape serious injury.
"I wasn't knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank onto the top of my head. Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave. I heard this god almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back."
Hayden had suffered another major accident way back in 1999, when he was with fellow cricketer Andrew Symonds on a boat that had capsized near North Stradbroke Island, forcing the two players to swim for about a kilometre in strong and hostile conditions.