After all speculations finally Cricket Australia has shared update on Steve Smith’s injury. Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test at Headingley as he failed to recover from the concussion he sustained at Lord’s.
The mainstay of Australian batting line up Steve Smith was hit on neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on day four of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s. After passing initial concussion test he was allowed to resume his innings in one hour after he was struck. But later he woke up with a headache and dizziness on day five and mandatory subsequent testing suggested that he was not match fit for the last day. He was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne under International Cricket Council’s new concussion replacement rule. The rule was implemented for the first time in Test cricket on that day.
On Tuesday Cricket Australia announced on their website about Smith’s unavailability in the next starting on August 22. The official statement read, “Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test in Leeds having failed to recover in time from the concussion he sustained at Lord’s. Coach Justin Langer confirmed the news two days out from the third Test on a cold Tuesday morning at Headingley, with Smith appearing understandably downbeat around his teammates.” According to the report, “While he was keen to bat on following the blow, Dr Saw removed Smith from play as a precaution, and after passing a series of concussion tests resumed his innings.”
Smith was seen at the training and went to inspect pitch with Langer. Team doctor Richard Saw was also seen chatting to Smith who had the final say on Smith’s involvement in the match, as per Cricket Australia’s concussion protocols. Smith will require the approval of Dr Saw before he can resume playing. “Smith now has two weeks to be ready for the fourth Test in Manchester, which starts on September 4, with a three-day tour match in Derby from August 29-31.”
Smith was looking as destructive as ever and scored 142, 144, a classy 92 in his three innings in the first two Tests of the ongoing Ashes. His absence is a major blow for Australia but this also means another opportunity for Labuschagne. In all likelihood, he will be taken in place of Smith after his heroics in the last Test. Labuschagne also got an initial blow to the helmet from Archer early in his innings. But he impressed one and all in his maiden Ashes innings as the highest scorer for the Aussies with the match saving 59.