Nari Contractor served as the opening batsman for the Indian team from 1955 to 1962. In 31 Test appearances, he garnered 1611 runs at an average of 31.58 with a single century and 11 half-centuries.
However, Nari’s career was cut short due to a serious blow on his head. It all happened in India’s 1961/62 tour of the West Indies, with Nari at the helm. After losing the first 2 Tests of the series, India faced the Barbados team in a practice match. During the match, Nari could not judge the bouncer delivered by the fast bowler Charles Griffith and was hit just above the right ear. Due to the absence of helmets in those times, Nari started to bleed from his nose and ears and was retired hurt.
In order to protect Nari from injuries in the concerned area in the future, the titanium plate was inserted in his skull. But recently, the 88-year old was advised by the doctors to remove the plate due to losing skin in that area of his head and the risk of future infection. The son of Nari contractor spoke after the metal plate was removed from his father’s skull.
“As a family, our concern was about how he would be able to handle post-op at this age. But he’s doing absolutely fine and is mobile,” Hoshedar Contractor, Nari’s son, was quoted by thesouthafrican.com. “The doctors Dr. Harshad Parekh and Dr. Anil Tibrewala did a great job.”
In 2009, Nari opened up about his injury to DNA and had said, “There were no sight screens at that time and my 100 per cent concentration wasn’t on that delivery. I saw it just inches away before it hit me.”
In 1960/61, Nari was appointed the captain of the Indian team and became the youngest (26) to hold this record until Tiger Pataudi rewrote the history books. Under Nari’s leadership, India claimed a historic win in England. But, the West series in 1962 proved to be his last appearance for the Indian team.