The cricketing world saw its heart skipping a beat when ace Australia batsman Steve Smith was hit on the back of his neck by a brute bouncer from speedster Jofra Archer in the second Ashes Test. The former Australia captain, who made a comeback in the red-ball format with two scintillating hundreds in the first Test at Edgbaston, missed his third consecutive ton by mere eight runs. He was on 80 when the vicious Archer bouncer struck him.
The 30-year-old Smith suffered a concussion and was ruled out of the third Test after missing out on batting in the second innings of the Lord’s Test. Smith later revealed that he had thoughts of the late Phillip Hughes immediately after falling on the ground and is considering wearing stem guards once he returns to the action in Manchester.
In his first media appearance since the frightening incident, Steve Smith spoke about the emotional impact the blow had on him and conceded that the episode reminded him at once the fatal experience that Hughes had suffered while batting in a domestic game in Sydney in November 2014.
Hughes was just three days short of turning 26 when the tragedy happened after he was stuck in the back of his neck by pacer Sean Abbott. Smith was also taken aback like the rest of the cricketing fraternity by the incident. “I had a few things running through my head, particularly where I got hit, just a bit of past came up, if you know what I mean, from a few years ago,” Smith was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Smith feels ‘claustrophobic’ to wear a neck guard
Steve Smith also said that he was not following the advice by Cricket Australia to wear neck protection while batting for it made him feel “claustrophobic”. He though added that he may have to get used to using it since could become mandatory next year.
The former Australia captain, considered one of the greats in contemporary cricket, will be back to play the three-day game against Derbyshire starting Thursday. He will also be playing in the fourth Test starting at Old Trafford on September 4.
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