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Nick Jones, the man who kept Maxwell going in his epic knock

By Sampad Nov8,2023
Australia’s Glenn Maxwell during the ICC Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 07, 2023.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell during the ICC Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 07, 2023.
| Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Australia’s physiotherapist Nick Jones’ advise got a “dead man” stand on his feet and the result was an epic World Cup knock that will be talked about for a long time to come.

Suffering multiple body cramps, Glenn Maxwell was done and wanted to retire during the World Cup match against Afghanistan on Tuesday night. His skipper Pat Cummins was not complaining either.

But Jones knew that the “best bet” for Maxwell was to just stand, minimise his running and keep going for his shots.

And it worked. For both Maxwell and Australia.

Maxwell is now a proud owner of perhaps the greatest knock under pressure — an unbeaten 201 that propelled Australia into the semifinals.

Jones, working with the Australian team for the last two years and someone who has treated Maxwell for severe cramping, advised against leaving the field because the all-rounder’s conditions would have only worsened in the dressing room.

“From there it was obvious we were fighting a losing battle,” Jones told cricket.com.au.

“That’s not unusual – we see this a lot with lots of different players – but the more running you do, you’re bringing (cramps) on more regularly and more quickly. I was going out pretty regularly and I was just trying to keep him calm, trying to down-regulate everything, manage his heart rate and be as assuring as possible,” he said.

Jones’ told Maxwell, “If we can keep you as upright as possible, you’re going to be able to keep going from now’.” Maxwell had got Australia back on the reckoning, lifting the side from 91 for seven but when the side was still 55 runs away from the finish line, Jones had to be summoned again.

“Then he went down like he was shot, lying down like a dead man on the floor,” said Jones.

“I got out there and it was his right calf, his left hammy and a few other areas that were all cramping at the same time. While we were giving him a bit of a stretch out, it was in that moment he said, ‘I’m done here. I can’t keep going. I need to come off and retire.’ “Patty was like, ‘go off, get some treatment and you can always come back later’.

“That is reasonable in some situations. But in that one, from my end, if you take someone off in that situation when their system is already depleted, and you sit them down and cool them down – you’re not getting them back up.

“Their body shuts down. They often go into full body cramps and you’re often not able to get any level of function out of them.” And then came Jones’ advice.

“He was struggling big time but I said to Glenn initially, ‘look, I think your best bet is to get you up off the ground. ‘You’re lying down, other things are going to cramp, we need you up on your feet, we need to stretch the key muscle groups that are going’.

“’But if you stay on your feet and minimise your running, I think you can stay out here. I think that’s your best bet’. I explained that to Patty … we need to keep him out there and keep him going.” Maxwell listened to that and pulled off one of the most incredible knocks in the history of the game.

“The way it played out from there was absolutely amazing and well beyond anything I expected he could do. I think we made the right call in terms of keeping him out there,” he said.

By Sampad

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