2014 was quite a dark year for Australian cricket. During a domestic match in Sydney, Philips Hughes got hit on the head from a ball of Sean Abbott. He fell on the ground and was unconscious. He died two days later from that injury.
The incident sent shock waves across the globe and short pitch bowling was never the same again. The incident had also impacted the mindset of batsmen and bowlers heavily. During the Ashes 2019 in England, something similar happened with Steve Smith. The right-handed batsman had got hit on the helmet from a ball of Jofra Archer. He fell on the ground and was laying there for sometime before the physio and medical team pulled him off the field.
Recently, Amazon Prime released a documentary series ‘The Test’. The series is based upon the struggle of the Australian side to get back into form after the ball-tampering scandal. In the seventh episode of the series, the incident of Smith getting hit on the helmet is shown. Smith’s long time friend and teammate David Warner opened up about the incident and how it felt.
‘We were all just like not again’: David Warner recounts Smith’s freak injury
“When I saw him go down, we were all just like not again, not. Please it cannot happen”, said Warner while recounting the incident during the Lord’s Test last year. Warner referred to the incident of Phil Hughes in 2014. Warner and Hughes shared a very close friendship and had opened the innings together many times before the untimely death of the latter.
Former Australian pacer Peter Siddle said, “I think we were all in shock. I think the worst was when he was laying there. That was probably the scariest moment for us all.”
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja also talked about how shocking the incident of Hughes was. He said, “We never thought it would happen. Never thought you could get hit in the head and die from it. And that never crossed my mind, growing up, playing cricket, until it actually happened to Hughesy.”
Steve Smith, after getting hit by Archer’s ball, stayed on the ground for a long time. He was hit twice on the same day, once on the arm and once on the head. He finally retired out, only to come back and finish his innings. Smith was then ruled out by concussion from that match and Marnus Labuschagne replaced him. Thus, Smith became the first to be replaced in the middle of a match due to concussion.
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