What’s the story?
Australian star David Warner retired hurt after receiving a blow on the side of his neck while batting during an inter-squad game at Darwin. The Australian vice-captain seemed shaken by the incident, and walked away from the scene without assistance, but didn’t come back to bat.
In case you didn’t know…
While blows to the head are an occupational hazard for any batsman in cricket, the cry for player safety has increased after the unfortunate demise of Phillip Hughes on the field in 2014.
In January this year, the ICC had even implemented new regulations, ensuring that international cricketers wear helmets adhering to the listed standards (the new helmets have a smaller gap between the crown and the grille).
The heart of the matter
Warner, playing against Steve Smith’s XI in a three-day practice game ahead of Australia’s tour to Bangladesh, was at the striker’s end, when a Josh Hazlewood delivery sprung off the surface and caught the batsman off-guard. He tried to go for an attacking pull, but mistimed his shot completely, letting the ball zip through and strike the side of his neck.
Fallen by the impact, Warner sprung up just as quickly, and gingerly started walking off the field immediately. Steve Smith, standing in the slips, rushed to check on him, while the Bupa support team doctor, Richard Saw, also raced to the spot in a flash.
Warner headed straight to the changing room, grimacing on the way as he assessed the injury, and was given ice treatment by the support staff.
The 14-member Australian squad will head to Bangladesh on Friday, after the culmination of the game. The first Test is scheduled to be held in Dhaka, starting August 27.
The Hughes incident has left an indelible dark spot on the game, that resurfaces every time news comes of a player copping a blow while batting. While Warner’s injury doesn’t seem to be a major one (at least for now), it highlights how important player safety has become in the modern game, and how vital the newly designed helmets are.Published 15 Aug 2017, 11:42 IST