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I've lost my leg below my knee, not my brain: Andy Moles

13 Jun 2020 CricBuzz

Afghanistan's Director of Cricket Andy Moles believes that going through the trauma of having his left leg amputated would help him to guide the national set-up through difficult times.

In April this year, the 59-year-old had to undergo an emergency surgery in Cape Town to amputate his left leg below the knee after a specialist noted that it could lead to septicaemia. Moles is now getting used to his prosthetic leg.

''There's no concern on my part about what I can do. I've lost my leg below my knee, I haven't lost my brain, I haven't lost my cricket knowledge. As far as my cricketing activities are concerned, I don't see any hindrance at all,'' Moles told Cricbuzzon Saturday (June 13).

"It will take me a month or so before I'm fully mobile and can move around unhindered. But I see four weeks' time... I don't see international travel resuming within the next four weeks anyway. So, I don't see (it as) a problem at all to carry on my coaching career. In fact, getting over this issue will help me to be a better coach, shows that I get over adversity. It will help [to make me understand] players when they get into a difficult situation.

''At the moment, I'm getting used to working on my new leg and everything's going well. It is a bit of an issue, a bit of pain here, but nothing serious and just getting used to walking with the new prosthetic leg. And I'm communicating and working with Afghanistan through e-mail and WhatsApp in my position as the director of cricket,'' he observed.

The former Warwickshire batsman admitted that it was a shock for him to learn that he had to go under the knife when he contracted MRSA bug. He started to feel the pain after a 5km walk in the heat in Abu Dhabi last summer, as Afghanistan prepared for the tour of Bangladesh.

He soon found out that the skin on the sole of his left foot had gone. Moles, who was acting as the head coach of Afghanistan during the tour of Bangladesh, then had to be admitted to a local hospital, as he struggled to bear the pain during the series that saw him guide his charges to their maiden Test win over the hosts.

Eventually, he returned to South Africa for further treatment, where he was diagnosed with MRSA bug, resistant to antibiotics. He was also informed that it is a life-threatening condition, if in case his left leg was not amputated below the knee.

''Yes, it was a shock when I was first informed (amputation). I had half an hour to feel sorry for myself, but got over that very quickly when I realised about all the terrible things that happened around the world, especially during this terrible coronavirus and cancer and things like that. The reality is that I've just lost a leg. Yes, it's tragic and it's hard and it's been difficult, but soon I came to aware that it's something that I need to get over.

''I'm mentally strong and I face challenges head-on and this is just a challenge that I get to get over. I'm very confident and I'm looking forward to rejoining the players on the field whenever we are allowed to get back with the international flights. So, I'm very positive, remained positive and look forward to helping a few players get to achieve the goals they want to and as well as help the teams become winning sides,'' he said.

Moles also noted that he has been in touch with the Afghanistan cricket team, monitoring their training process. He added that Afghanistan need to get used to the new playing regulations as announced by the ICC. ''I hear that things are going very well, being run by Nawroz Mangal, who is in the national camp coaching staff, (and) being aided by the other coaches of Afghanistan. It will probably take three-four weeks, where they can get used to their bodies and getting used to batting, bowling and fielding. When the international cricket restarts, we will be ready to perform.

''When the ICC prints these rules, it applies to every country in the world, and so it will be something new for us to get used to, the same is for every other Test playing side in the world. So, I don't see it being a major issue and it's just something we have to adapt to. Boys are busy trying to do (that at) the camp at the moment. Once we get adapted to it, it will be a second nature,'' he concluded.

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