Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cricket Still Has a Long Way to Go on Concussion Issue

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cricket Still Has a Long Way to Go on Concussion Issue

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Macpherson Cricket Correspondent at Headingley

IT was a curious week for batsman Mark Cosgrove to choose to head a cricket ball when he was bowled a bouncer.

But yesterday the Leicestershire player walked down the wicket and nodded the delivery into first slip's hands, as if just dinking it towards the backpost.

The Australian was slightly more confident doing this against Durham's Ben Raine than he might have been against Jofra Archer.

The header, an instant social media hit, provided a moment of depending on your viewpoint levity or stupidity in a week where balls hitting helmets has been the game's major talking point.

The conversation around concussion has shifted inexorably since Archer hit Steve Smith on the neck on Saturday, a blow that ruled him out of the last day at Lord's and the Third Test here.

First, Marnus Labuschagne became Test cricket's first concussion substitute and was hit on the grille by Archer. As an aside, there have been two concussion substitutes in county cricket this week Blessing Muzarabani for Nathan Buck at Northampton and Harry Came for Aneurin Donald at the Kia Oval.

Then, on Tuesday nets at Headingley, Labuschagne was struck again, this time by Mitchell Starc. Two hours later, Jason Roy was hit, too, by coach Marcus Trescothick using a dog thrower, not bowling his mediocre medium pacers on the stem guard, the neck protection Smith was not wearing because he finds it "claustrophobic".

Some England players, including Roy, are baffled that anyone would not wear one.

The reaction to Roy's blow shows how things have changed this week. Roy was assessed immediately and cleared to continue batting by Gurj Bhogal, England's doctor. Yesterday morning he was assessed again and cleared once more to train fully. This morning he had a third test and was given the thumbs-up to play. …

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