Saqib Mahmood: England bowler particulars levels of restoration from stress fracture

Saqib Mahmood: England bowler details stages of recovery from stress fracture

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Five months after suffering a stress fracture of the back, Saqib Mahmood finally has a cricket ball in his hand.

It is the last week of September 2022 and Mahmood can bowl again for the first time, albeit without a run-up and with just a bowling coach for company.

“As soon as I got to the middle I was so overwhelmed,” he told BBC Sport afterwards. “It looked so far away.

“I visualised my first ball being this little outswinger just outside off stump, the coach taking it in the mitt.

“It did not go that way. It went down the leg side and the coach missed it with a full-length dive.

“It was like I had completely forgotten how to bowl.”

Another five, often painstaking, months later and the 26-year-old is making his long-awaited England return in a one-day international in Bangladesh, which got under way at 06:00 GMT.

A journey which started with tears after the phone call which confirmed his diagnosis is now at an end,…

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