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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 20:15 GMT 21:15 UK
Cricket fan knocked for six
Curtis Cooke
Curtis was pleased with his gifts from Lara
Cricket's most prolific batsman Brian Lara caused as much drama off the field as on it during the first of two one-day matches in Belfast.

Seven-year-old Curtis Cooke had come to watch his father field for Ireland at the Civil Service grounds on Wednesday, but got a little too close to the action.

On his way to making another century, West Indies captain Lara hit another one for six, but the ball went out over the hospitality tent and struck Curtis' head.

The little boy said it was "really sore" but agreed it was worth getting hit on the head to get a gift from Lara - a pair of his batting gloves and the match ball.

Afterwards, Lara said: "He doesn't seem that bad. It's nice to see a smile on his face when I got in there."

Hairline fracture

Lara said he hoped the child enjoyed having his gloves.

"I know they won't fit his hands but maybe he can put them up in a good place," he laughed.

Gordon Cooke
Gordon Cooke joined his son in the ambulance
However, the Cooke's family's bad luck continued when Curtis' dad, Gordon, got injured 20 minutes later and joined his son in an ambulance.

The Ireland pace bowler slipped on the hard surface and had to be taken to hospital with a suspected hairline fracture of the ankle.

Gordon said: "I didn't know what to think. I was stunned to start with. Whenever I looked out and seen the kid injured, that was my worst fear.

"But then I went down and I went into the ambulance and Curtis was sitting, too. A horrible experience, but that's cricket."

The story, however, had a happy ending. Both father and son were able to return for the close of play.

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