Australian cricketer Steve Smith has been ruled out of the remainder of the T20 series against Sri Lanka after suffering concussion during Sunday evening’s match at the SCG.
In the final over of Sri Lanka’s thrilling run chase in Sydney, Maheesh Theekshana slapped a length delivery from all-rounder Marcus Stoinis towards the mid-wicket boundary.
Smith leapt up with an outstretched arm, and in one motion managed to catch the ball in his right hand and flick it back into play.
But the 32-year-old landed heavily onto the turf and didn’t initially return to his feet, instead rolling on the ground and holding his head in considerable discomfort.
Australian teammate Pat Cummins quickly retrieved the ball before checking on Smith as Glenn Maxwell frantically waved towards the dressing rooms.
“Smith’s in all sorts of trouble,” Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard said.
“Steve Smith has come down really, really hard here.”
Team doctors sprinted onto the field to assess Smith, who did not feature in the rest of the match.
A relieved cheer echoed around the SCG as the star cricketer returned to his feet, albeit a bit dazed and frazzled.
However, the New South Welshman was bitterly disappointed to find out his fielding efforts were for nothing, with umpires awarding a six because his right foot had touched the boundary rope before he jumped in the air.
Smith watched from the fine-leg boundary as Dushmantha Chameera cracked Stoinis’ final delivery towards long-off for a four, forcing a Super Over. He seemed more concerned about the match outcome than his own health.
“Whenever anyone dives and doesn’t get up straight away, it’s always a bit of a concern,” Australian teammate Josh Hazlewood told reporters after the match.
“It’s good to see him walking around now and make his way off the field.”
Cricket Australia later confirmed in a statement: “Steve Smith has concussion and will be subject to low level protocols for the next few days and full recovery in 6-7 days. He will miss the remainder of the Dettol T20 International Series against Sri Lanka.
“No replacement in the squad planned at this stage.”