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Ian Healy’s ‘fall’ from grace

Regarded as one of the greatest wicketkeepers to have ever graced the game, Ian Healy has steadily established himself as a commentator of repute. Apart from his insightful analysis, Healy is also known for his humour and antics in the commentary box. Abhishek Borwankar relives one of the hysterical moments in 2011-12 with the legendary gloveman.

Ian Healy is recognised as one of the most prolific wicket keepers in Australia cricket. Of course, he is known for his most ferocious back-foot, using cuts and pulls to proper execution. Unfortunately, he was not the best of drivers.

The incident took place during the India’s 2011-12 tour of Australia. Healy and Mark Nicholas were interviewing camera operator Joe Previtera who had fallen off the mechanised Segway the day before during the second day of the first test match.

Healy decided to take it for a ride (well, not literally) around the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for about half a minute. In a fashion not very different from Previtera’s fall, Healy also stumbled and fell, making a mess of himself. He had pulled off many a stumbling catch during his heydays, but they, unlike the one off the Segway, had been intentional.

Nicholas and Healy had been interviewing Previtera before the start of the third day in the build-up; Healy had tried to jump off it but had eventually tripped and fell down. Luckily, Healy and Previtera went unscathed. Eventually when Healy fell, he could not keep his balance and the machine fell flat on the ground and took some soil of the ground.

Healy had been the wicket keeper and an integral part of the Australian team that had usurped the all-conquering West Indians of their place at the top. Playing in the 1990s he pulled off the most stunning catches behind the stumps and very few people would have expected this from him.

The Segway is a two-wheeled, battery operated and self-balancing scooter that was used by the camera operators during the match to move around the ground to cover the match with ease. It seems very easy to drive, but the Segway has provided people with many laughs during the match with the falls.

Previtera had mocked in an interview before the match had said that he would never crash it and after the fall in an interview with Michael Slater, the maverick opener-turned-commentator had reminded him of his words and said that he had got cocky driving it. He was also greeted by cheers from the crowd and was helped by Michael Clarke and Shaun Marsh to get back on his feet.

It is illegal to drive a Segway around in Melbourne and can be used only on private property. The two-wheeled machine costs between $7000 and $10,000 and it would have cost the authorities a bomb to fix them after the two falls.

The manufacturers of the Segway claim that falling of the self-balancing machine is impossible and falling of it is possible only if a helmet trips you or you jump off it like Healy.

(Abhishek Borwankar is currently pursuing his degree in commerce, but loves cricket and numbers related to it)

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