Maynard admits Kieswetter’s career could be in jeopardy

"The worrying question is whether he will ever recover 100% of his vision"

“The worrying question is whether he will ever recover 100% of his vision”

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Somerset’s director of cricket Matthew Maynard has admitted that wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter’s career could be in jeopardy.

Maynard’s comments come after Kieswetter admitted that he still had vision problems when playing for the Warriors during South Africa’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge.

Kieswetter’s eye problems arose when he was was hit in the face while playing for Somerset in a County Championship match against Northamptonshire. As a result of being hit, the 27-year-old suffered a broken nose and sustained severe damage to his eye socket and cheekbone.

Due to his vision problems, Kieswetter has also been replaced by Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings in England’s 30-man preliminary World Cup squad.

“There are concerns about his playing career, yes,” Maynard told ESPNcricinfo. “The worrying question is whether he will ever recover 100% of his vision.

“He will see some world-class eye specialists in the near future. We are fortunate in that, during his time with England, his eyes were thoroughly tested so we will be able to compare and contrast how they were then and how they are now.

“There are no plans for an operation at this stage and I imagine surgery would be the last option. But that’s a decision for the specialists.

“There is no time frame on his return at all. If it turns out to be May, then great. If it’s August then fine and if it’s at the start of 2015, then that is okay, too. We will put him under no pressure and help him get the very best treatment. Then, when he is ready to return, we will welcome him back with open arms.”

Kieswetter initially thought that he had made a full recovery after being hit, but he is now growing more and more concerned about his vision.

“He came back and played well against Middlesex and that knock gave him a lot of confidence,” Maynard said. “He thought his sight would continue to improve, but instead the progress has stagnated.

“He could probably still go out there and average 35, which might be enough for other players. But he sets himself very high standards, he is desperate to play for England again and he wants to get this problem resolved so he can return to his best again.”

Maynard also revealed that since it is unclear how long Kieswetter will be out of action for, he is interested in signing another opening batsman.

“If an opening batsman became available now then, yes, we would probably be interested,” Maynard said. “But there is not a lot of chance of that in the short-term.

“Alex Barrow did a really good job when he came into the side last year and I have every confidence in him as our keeper. James Regan [the reserve keeper] also looks an exciting young cricketer, so we are not in the market for another keeper. And it will be good to give our younger batsmen, the likes of Tom Abell, more of an opportunity.

“The way I see it, there was always a good chance we could lose Craig to England. Just as we could lose the likes of the Overtons or Lewis Gregory. So we have to cope with that and hope it provides opportunity to other players in the squad.”

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