Steve Smith will be out of action for the third Ashes Test in Leeds in the wake of the massive blow to the neck. Even after missing the second Test due to a delayed concussion, he will not be able to recover in time for Thursday’s Test.
Australia cricket coach Justin Langer confirmed the news on Tuesday morning at Headingley. Meanwhile, Steve Smith himself appear understandably gutted around his teammates.
The 30-year old was forced to sit out training at the Leeds venue on Tuesday and received a sympathetic a pat on the shoulder from vice-captain Pat Cummins. Then, Langer wrapped his arm around the right-hander consolingly, as the squad warmed up without him.
Team doctor Richard Saw was spotted conversing with Smith near the centre square and he had the final say on Smith’s involvement in the match, as per Cricket Australia’s concussion protocols. Smith requires the approval of Dr Saw before he can resume playing.
Smith was the first player in international cricket to be substituted out of a match following the scary blow to the neck from Archer.
Cricket Australia’s sports science and sports medicine chief Alex Kountouris said it was only a matter of time before they became mandatory.
“Helmet manufacturers did the right thing and came out with products (after Hughes’ death). There was no real knowledge of the mechanism, what exactly they were trying to protect or stuff like that,” Kountouris told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But since that time we have done a lot of research. We actually have a pretty good understanding of that now.”
Now the manufacturers are thinking about neck guards and Kountouris said it would take about six months for the manufacturers to complete the upgraded product, which would then be trialled by players