Wiltshire

Car crash cricketer Billy Cookson first game since accident

Billy Cookson walks out onto field
Image caption Billy Cookson returned to the field on Saturday to play for Melbourne's Kyabram Cricket Club

An amateur cricketer who was seriously injured in a head-on crash with a bus in Australia has played in his first game 12 months since the collision.

Billy Cookson, 23, suffered punctured lungs and a torn liver, broke a leg and both ankles and shattered his right arm in the crash in October 2018.

He was expected to be in hospital for eight months but he got out in four.

The overseas cricketer returned to the field on Saturday to play for Melbourne's Kyabram Cricket Club.

The team lost their match against Invergordon 192-7, and Mr Cookson was dismissed for a duck.

Image caption Mr Cookson's father, Matt (second left) had secretly flown out to surprise his son (second right)

Mr Cookson, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, said: "To get myself in the position that I have been able to do it 12 months to the day of my accident is a 'pinch yourself moment' really.

"When I stepped over that white line to go out on the field it was awesome to be involved in the game.

"Batting-wise I know it wasn't the greatest success as far the score, but just feeling like I could do it."

Mr Cookson's father, Matt had secretly flown out to surprise him and play in the same game.

He said: "It's a great feeling. There are few times in your life when you get that level of emotion.

"To have Billy participating in a game of cricket again, we didn't think it would happen. It's good."

Image copyright Cookson family photo
Image caption Billy Cookson was in hospital for several months following the crash

Mr Cookson had travelled to Melbourne to play cricket and was working as a delivery driver when, on his first day, his pick-up truck collided with a bus.

He was taken to hospital and placed into an induced coma after undergoing surgery.

Mr Cookson underwent a total of 18 operations following the crash.

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