Former Australian skipper Steve Smith has seen enough ups and downs for one life. The batsman has been lethal for the English side as he has already scored two centuries in the series.
He was at 92 when a ball bowled by the English bowler Jofra Archer hit him at at the neck just below the ear. Initially he was hit on his forearm, which he got bandaged and continued to play. The ball hitting him on the neck was a scary reminder of what happened to Phil Hughes back in November 2014. Hughes died of an injury during a domestic test match.
After Hughes people have been more concerned about the safety gears of players. This incident surely reminded each one of us about Hughe’s demise back in 2014. Smith is retired hurt and as of now out of danger.
These were the statements given out by the Australian coach Justin Langer,
“There’s obviously some rough memories of a blow like that, there’s no fun in it,” Langer said.
“He went through the concussion protocols and seemed to be coming up OK,” Langer explained. “He passed all that and he came back in the changing room and had a bit of a smile on his face, he was more worried about his arm, thankfully that’s OK, he’s had an X-ray on that at the hospital this afternoon.
“I’m sure he’ll be very sore tomorrow, his arm and his neck but he was in good spirits.
“He passed all the testing and that’s why he came back out.”
“As is the protocol he’ll have another test in the morning so there is no residual concussion and I suspect he will play the game out there,” Langer added.
“These are like my sons so you are never going to put them in harm’s way, but he was determined.
“He said ‘I can’t get on the honours board unless I’m out batting.’ All he was worried about was that he wasn’t going to be able to play his forward defence because his top hand grip was hurting.
“I asked him over and over, privately two or three times and in front of the group, the medical team cleared him and he said he was ready to go.”
Smith was not wearing the protective attachments to the helmets that guard the neck.
Langer said: “I didn’t realise they weren’t mandatory until today, but I think Steve wrote in his book that he doesn’t feel comfortable, he has all these little idiosyncrasies everyone talks about, he doesn’t like shoelaces he can see, he just doesn’t feel right. I am sure it will get talked about again, I know they came in after the tragedy of Hughesy.
“He might re-think it but at the moment the players have a choice. I wouldn’t be surprised if they become mandatory in the future.”