MP in mercy plea for paralysed Test star

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The Independent Online
The former West Indies Test cricketer Winston Davis has been paralysed in a freak accident while helping to rebuild a church on his home island in the Caribbean. The 39-year-old fast bowler suffered the same injuries as the actor Christopher Reeve and doctors say he will never walk again.

His case has been taken up by Wyre Forest Labour MP David Lock who is pleading with the Government to waive rules which threaten to bar Mr Davis from coming to live with his English wife Patricia, 38, and their daughter Jessica, 5, in Bewdley, near Worcester, because he would require state support.

Mr Davis played county cricket for Northampton and Glamorgan besides appearing in 15 tests and around 50 one-day internationals.

The accident occurred while Mr Davis was carrying out some voluntary land-clearing work for a new church in St Vincent. He had climbed into a tree to saw off some branches when he was struck by a falling branch from above and fell to the ground.

He was eventually flown to a specialist American trauma hospital in Palm Beach, Florida, where he spent five weeks on a ventilator and has already clocked up $650,000 (pounds 400,000) in medical bills.

Mr Davis had been due to leave his Caribbean job as supervisor with a shipping company next spring so he could live with his family in England. He and his wife have been married for seven years.

His application to the British High Commission in New York for entry clearance into Britain is currently being considered. But such an plea would normally be refused because Mr Davis's injuries mean he would inevitably depend on state support.

Mr Lock said: "In normal circumstances it's highly likely such an entry application would be refused. But Winston spent 15 years playing cricket over here providing great entertainment for the public and paying considerable amounts of tax and national insurance. I'm strongly backing his case and I hope a compassionate response from the Government will allow the family to be together in this country."