Cricket: English player loses artificial leg mid-game, but keeps going

NEW YORK - English cricketer Liam Thomas kept calm and carried on despite losing his artificial leg during a tournament final for the physically disabled in Dubai last week, reported CNN.

Mr Thomas, 22, lunged for the ball on Oct 24 during England Physical Disabilities team's game against Pakistan when his artificial leg became lose and fell off.

"It just happened, really. I was sprinting for the ball, put my hand out, hit the deck hard and the next thing I know I stood up and had no leg," Mr Thomas said. "I didn't know whether to grab the leg or get the ball in. I decided to go for the ball."

He assumed that the Dubai heat had expanded the leg's socket such that it loosened.

Mr Thomas, who was born with the disability, shared that his teammates appreciated his effort and they joked about it, according to CNN.

"Having a disability, we all take the fun out of each other a little bit, we all have each others' backs, so we are all trying to give each other grief when something like that happens," he said.

However, England lost the final by three wickets. Mr Thomas said he hopes the attention his performance is receiving helps raise the profile of the sport.

The England and Wales Cricket Board supports a few teams besides the Physical Disabilities team. There are also teams for people who are visually impaired, for people with learning disabilities, and for people who are deaf.

Mr Thomas, who works for the local water service near his home in Bradford, England, urges disabled people to try out sports. "Don't be afraid, no matter what sport it is," he said to CNN.

"Never in a million years would I have thought I would be touring Dubai, playing cricket, doing something I love. It's just not something you think a disabled person would do, but being involved in disabled sport allows you access to do stuff like that."