Steve Smith ruled out of final day of Ashes Test at Lord’s and could miss Headingley clash

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Steve Smith ruled out of final day of Ashes Test at Lord’s and could miss Headingley clash with concussion after being struck on the neck by 92mph Jofra Archer bouncer

  • Steve Smith won’t play on the final day of the Lord’s Ashes Test on Sunday
  • He is also a doubt for the third Test beginning on Thursday at Headingley
  • Smith was struck on the neck by a 92mph Jofra Archer delivery on Saturday 
  • Cricket Australia said Smith woke up ‘with a bit of a headache and grogginess’ 

Steve Smith has been ruled out of the final day of the second Test with concussion and could be struggling to be fit for the third Ashes clash at Headingley on Thursday.

Smith was struck a sickening blow by Jofra Archer on his neck on Saturday during one of the most compelling duels in Ashes history.

He was forced to retire hurt but passed immediate concussion tests and resumed his innings but looked disoriented and was dismissed for 92 by Chris Wakes within sight of his fourth successive Ashes century in England.

Australia's Steve Smith has retired hurt after being struck in the neck by a Jofra Archer delivery

Australia’s Steve Smith will miss the final day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s and potentially next week’s third Test at Headingley with concussion after being struck by a Jofra Archer ball

Smith turned away from a bouncer, which ended up hitting him underneath his helmet

Smith turned away from a bouncer, which ended up hitting him underneath his helmet

Now further tests have found delayed onset concussion which means Smith will not be able to bat on this final day if Australia face a run-chase at Lord’s.

Cricket Australia released a statement saying: ‘Steve Smith has been closely monitored by medical staff overnight. He slept well but woke up with a bit of a headache and feeling of grogginess. He reported his left arm is much better.

‘As part of the Cricket Australia concussion protocol, repeat testing was performed this morning and demonstrated some deterioration, which is consistent with the emergence of the symptoms he was reporting.

‘On that basis, he has been withdrawn from the match. The Australian team will lodge an application for the concussion substitute with the match referee.

‘In terms of his availability for the next Test, it will be considered over the coming days but the short turnaround is not in his favour. He will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will have a precautionary scan on his neck on Sunday.

‘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.’

Archer started to bowl even faster after noticing that Smith was struggling with the pace

Archer started to bowl even faster after noticing that Smith was struggling with the pace

Smith was struggling against the pace after being hit by a handful of Archer deliveries

Smith was struggling against the pace after being hit by a handful of Archer deliveries

Marnus Labuschagne has been approved by the ICC as Smith’s official replacement, meaning he can bat in Australia’s second innings if required.

He came on as a replacement fielder for Smith on Saturday evening. 

It was a surprise when Smith resumed his innings on Saturday after just 40 minutes with sport supposedly much more careful with head injuries in modern times.

And Australia are more aware than anyone of the dangers inherent in being struck after the tragic death of Philip Hughes five years ago when he was hit in the same part of the neck as Smith was at Lord’s. 

Smith retired on 80 from 152 balls, as Australia chased down England's first innings total

Smith retired on 80 from 152 balls, as Australia chased down England’s first innings total

Smith was under attack from Archer for an extended period, being hit on the arm as well

Smith was under attack from Archer for an extended period, being hit on the arm as well

Smith, such an immovable force in this series, was also struck a nasty blow on the forearm by debutant Archer, who hit 96 miles per hour, but subsequent x-rays showed that he had no fracture and only bruising.

It seems inconceivable that Smith could play at Headingley in the third Test if Australia are going to follow protocols which would be a huge boost to England’s ashes chances, particularly if they can escape Lord’s with a draw or even an unlikely victory.

 

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