SA cricket duo beaten by thugs in brutal UK attack

Marques Ackerman (Gallo Images)
Marques Ackerman (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Two South African cricketers were seriously injured after being attacked by a gang of thugs in England late last month.

According to The Oldham Times, amateur player Justin Watson (20) and professional Marques Ackerman (22) were attacked on a street in Oldham after leaving a nightclub in the early hours of Friday, July 27.

Captain and acting chairperson of the Shaw Cricket Club, Steve Whiston, told the English publication that the pair were on their way home when they were "jumped" by seven men and badly beaten.

Watson was reportedly punched repeatedly in the face and head by three of the gang, leaving him with two fractures to his jaw. He was taken to hospital where he was due to have surgery to have a plate inserted in his jaw.

The report added that Ackermann was hit from behind and was knocked unconscious as he hit the ground. He has since left hospital, but suffered severe concussion.

Watson, who represented Gauteng as a junior player, has been ruled out for the rest of the English season. He had an eye on playing professionally in England and was on trial at several counties.

Ackermann, a former South African under-19 player, has played 21 first class matches and represented local teams like the Lions, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said a 27-year-old man was arrested following the incident on suspicion of section 47 assault and has been released under investigation.

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