Joe Root batted masterfully in the second Test against Sri Lanka, to the point where the biggest danger to his wicket appeared to be his own body.
The England captain battled cramp throughout the latter part of his innings, having spent a heroic amount of time on the field this series. He followed up his double hundred in the first Test with a knock of 186 in the second, and a stat from CricViz showed he had played a part in all but seven per cent of the series so far.
It was only natural that he began to show some signs of fatigue, receiving treatment from the physio, taking on copious and varied liquids, and still looking in some discomfort.
However, his pain was nothing compared to a moment of cramp suffered by New Zealand opener Mark Richardson, at least if the sound on the stump mic is anything to go by.
Nicknamed ‘Rigor’ for his defensive batting style, Richardson was anything but motionless as he recoiled and yelped immediately after playing a sweep shot against India. Having passed a century at the time, he went onto bat for more than nine hours to finish with 145.
But it’s the cramp that is remembered, rather than the innings. “Goodness me. He’s picked up none for this,” said Ian Smith. “Now this is probably one of the most funny things you’ll ever see in Test cricket history.”
The Indian fielders were left in heaps of laughter, as were the commentary team. A slo-mo replay only increased the humour, as did the emergence of a stretcher, eventually shooed away.
The noise bore an eerie resemblance to the Wilhelm Scream, one of Hollywood’s most famous sound effects, which has featured in films from Star Wars to Toy Story.
The Sky commentators during England’s first innings referenced it as still one of the funniest moments they had seen on a cricket field, but also something Root would be desperate to avoid. Run out for 186 on the last ball of the day, he ended his innings in a not dissimilar position to Richardson post-cramp, but thankfully with a differing level of pain.
Watch the hilarious moment below: