Steven Smith has been withdrawn from the second Test against England at Lord’s after the delayed onset on concussion, following the blow to the neck he received from Jofra Archer on Saturday, and is in doubt for the third Test at Headingley.
Cricket Australia have become the first team to apply to the ICC for a concussion substitute under the new protocols which came into action on August 1 with Marnus Labuschagne confirmed as Smith’s replacement.
“Steve has been closely monitored by medical staff overnight and this morning reported that after sleeping well, he woke with ‘a bit of a headache and a feeling of grogginess.'” a Cricket Australia statement said
“As part of the Cricket Australia concussion protocol, repeat concussion testing of Steve Smith was also performed this morning and demonstrated some deterioration from his testing which is consistent with the emergence of the symptoms he was reporting.
“On that basis Steve has been withdrawn from the match by team doctor Richard Saw and the Australia team will lodge an application for a concussion substitute with the ICC match referee in line with the ICC protocol.”
Smith was on 80 when he was struck on the neck by a bouncer from Archer on the fourth afternoon. He fell into the crease and was rapidly attended to by medical staff before the decision was made that we would retired hurt for further assessment. Smith passed the initial concussion testing undertaken by the team doctor and returned at the fall of Peter Siddle’s wicket.
He went on to make 92 before falling lbw, leaving a straight ball from Chris Woakes, after which he subsequently went to hospital for an x-ray on his arm which had also been struck by Archer before the blow on the neck.
“Cricket Australia statistics show that 30 percent of concussions in Australian cricket are delayed. It is not uncommon for players to pass their tests and feel well on the day of an injury and then display symptoms 24 – 48 hours later.
“In terms of Steve’s availability for the third Test, this will be considered over the coming days but the short turnaround to the next Test is not in his favour. Steve’s fitness will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Steve will undergo a precautionary scan on his neck on Sunday.
“Despite the unfortunate nature of what has happened, the positive is that the concussion protocol, including the availability of the concussion substitute, which has been recently brought in has served its purpose. A player is no longer under pressure to take the field when he or she displays symptoms of concussion and a side is not disadvantaged having lost a player to a blow to the head or neck.
“Cricket Australia is proud to have been leaders in this area, having introduced concussion substitutes in domestic cricket and worked with the ICC to introduce them in international cricket.”
More to follow