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After Philippe Hughes’ death in 2014, safety in playing cricket became a talking point in the cricket community. Hughes’ was hit on the neck during a match, and fell into a coma. During the recent Ashes match, Steve Smith suffered the same fate after being hit by a ball delivered by Jofra Archer. The only good news is Smith only suffered a delayed concussion.
After confirming that he is in one piece, Smith still continued to bat. The audience present at Lord’s saw this as bravery, some saw it as sheer carelessness. A day after being felled by Archer’s ball, Smith complained of headaches and dizzy spells.
Brain Injury charity Headway said that Smith’s decision to bat was a bad idea. Headway said that cricket bodies should implement rules restricting injured players to go back in the field.
‘The reaction time of a batsman facing a 90mph-plus delivery is incredibly small and yet it is absolutely vital they are fully concentrated.’, said Headway Chief, Luke Griggs.
‘What this incident highlight is that no test for concussion is foolproof,’ Mr Griggs said. Signs can be delayed for several hours and sometimes even a couple of days’, he added.
‘You cannot take any risks with a concussion, which is why we have always said that all sports have to take an 'if in doubt, sit it out’, he added.
In 2017, ICC announced a set of rules on wearing cricket helmets during matches. Non-compliant players will face dismissal in the field.
The Cricket Australia Concussion Protocol issued a statement that if a player gets injured in the head, a test must be carried out.
Here are the tests for injured players:
Finger to nose test
Smith was allowed to play for the fourth Ashes test and smashed 2 centuries in the match. Currently, Australia is leading the test series against England.