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Ashes 2019 | Labuschagne Becomes First Concussion Substitute, Smith Doubtful for Headingley

Steve Smith has been ruled out of the ongoing second Ashes Test match at Lord’s due to concussion. He is also in doubt for the third Test at Headingley in Leeds.

Cricketnext Staff |August 19, 2019, 9:26 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Labuschagne Becomes First Concussion Substitute, Smith Doubtful for Headingley

Steve Smith was ruled out of the last day of the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s due to concussion. He is also in doubt for the third Test at Headingley in Leeds.

Marnus Labuschagne replaced Smith on the last day of the Lord's Test, with new ICC rules permitting substitutes for concussion. Labuschagne made an impact immediately, scoring a half-century as Australia held on for a draw.

Smith was struck on the back of the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday and was forced to retire hurt. He came back to bat after initially passing the concussion test but showed symptoms of concussion on the morning of the final day.

After receiving the blow Smith said, "I started to feel a bit of headache coming on last night, probably as the adrenaline got out of my system. I was able to get a good sleep in, which is somewhat rare for me.

"But woke up feeling a little bit groggy and with a headache again, so had some tests done and upon some further assessments deemed to be a mild concussion unfortunately and have been ruled out for of this Test match."

"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," Cricket Australia said in a statement.

"Steve reported that his left arm which was also struck during his innings yesterday was “much better”.

"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"On that basis Steve has been withdrawn from the match by team doctor Richard Saw and the Australia team will lodge an application for a concussion substitute with the ICC match referee in line with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.

"Cricket Australia statistics show that 30 per cent 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."

It will be a massive blow for Australia if Smith is ruled out of the third Test, which starts on August 22 in Headingley. The former captain has scores of 144, 142 and 92 in his three innings this series so far.

"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."

Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 following their win in the first Test at Edgbaston and draw at Lord's.

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