LUDLOW Cricket Club paceman Matthew Kennedy has revealed that doctors told him to quit the sport he loved.

The South African ace has already snapped up 14 wickets at a cost of just 7.71 in this season’s Shropshire County League Premier Division.

But Kennedy suffered a stress fracture in his lower back two years ago and was told that he should stop playing cricket.

“I have been very pleased with my start to the season,” said Kennedy, who will be lining up in third-placed Ludlow’s home match against Worfield this Saturday.

Kennedy has played five first-class matches in his homeland and represented South Africa Under-19.

Port Elizabeth-born Kennedy has played at every age level for Eastern Province in his home country and has bagged 15 first-class wickets.

He has now overcome his injury problems which started with an ankle operation four years ago.

After returning to the game end of 2011, I started bowling again and felt a sharp pain in my lower back,” he recalled.

“I went for an MRI scan and it showed a stress fracture.

“I was told that it would take six months to heal and, if I started bowling again, the fracture would return. So the doctor said I should stop playing.”

Kennedy decided to stop playing for 12 months to focus on his studies.

“I took my mind off the game and just wanted to get stronger and healthier,” he said.

“My plan was to ignore the doctor’s comments and start from scratch.

“I did rehabilitation work, core exercises and gym programmes throughout 2012.

“I started bowling again in 2013 and have been fortunate to remain healthy.

“I also finished my studies end of 2013 which gave me the opportunity to play in the UK 2014.”

Ludlow’s match at Wroxeter last Saturday was washed out without a ball bowled.