Injury bug hits all-rounder OJ Pitcher again
St David’s were dealt a blow to their 50-overs title aspirations when key all-rounder OJ Pitcher suffered a shoulder injury in their victory over Eastern Counties rivals Bailey’s Bay on Sunday.
Pitcher sustained the injury when he landed awkwardly on propelling himself backward in a forlorn attempt to recover ground, having misjudged the flight of an over-the-shoulder catch early in the Bay innings at Lord’s.
Bay, chasing 189 on a difficult surface, were dismissed for just 102 as St David’s picked up a second win over their big rivals this season. The result, which leaves them within touching distance of wrapping up the league, came at a cost as one of their key players could be out for a few weeks.
Pitcher was taken to hospital and returned to the ground with his arm in a sling, obviously playing no further part in the match.
“It might be a couple of weeks, might be less, we’re not sure,” Sammy Robinson, the St David’s assistant coach, said yesterday. “It looks like some tissue damage.”
Pitcher could not be reached for comment but no doubt the injury will make him questionable for the opening round of the Eastern Counties when holders St David’s host Flatts. “He went for a catch over his head at mid-off and landed awkwardly,” Robinson explained.
Pitcher, whose past two seasons were interrupted by a knee injury in 2020 and a shoulder injury last year that sidelined him the whole summer, had a good start to this campaign, scoring 84 not out against Bay in their first meeting in May.
Then, after sharing with The Royal Gazette his desire to make a bid for a Cup Match recall with St George’s, Pitcher produced a career-best 163 against Somerset to put his name on the minds of the selectors.
“I’m looking forward to the season,” Pitcher said last month. “As long as I’m injury-free, I’ll definitely make myself available for all cricket. One game at a time; it’s a long season.”
Now the 39-year-old will be hoping to recover quickly from his latest injury, with Cup Match just three weeks away.
“It [injury] can be a hindrance as he’s been making runs for us,” Robinson said. “Then his experience on the field when we are fielding is invaluable.
“We’ll just have to wait and see how it heals; it’s just a waiting game right now. On Monday he came on the group chat and was in good spirits.
“He’s also been bowling a bit, so it can affect us tremendously. If he’s not able to play, hopefully other people will be able to step up and come good.”
St David’s play Southampton Rangers on Sunday, as they travel to Southampton Oval looking to avenge their only loss of the season, a five-run defeat at home on June 5.
Other Premier Division matches on Sunday will see St George’s hosting Bailey’s Bay at Wellington Oval while Willow Cuts play Somerset in a West End derby at Somerset Cricket Club.
Southampton Rangers will also be in action on Saturday when they take on challengers PHC in the second round of the Western Counties at Southampton Oval.