Steve Smith and Ashes Action

During the second series of the historical clash between Australia and England, Steve Smith took a speeding bouncer ball, delivered by English fast bowler, Jofra Archer to the neck and came tumbling down face first. This incident didn’t only take Smith out of playing during the third series but also brought on harmful behaviour from specific sectors within the English crowd. Conduct which is now condemned by the ACA and cricketers from all over.

The Incident

After making two centuries thus far from his two innings, the Australian star was standing on 92 runs during his third inning when a speeding bouncer hit him on the neck. Smith was able to walk off the field after a while to have a complete concussion check done. These checks are compulsory protocol, which is not only required by the English side but especially pushed for by the Australians. During a domestic game at Sheffield Shield in Sydney in 2014, Smith’s former teammate, Phillip Hughes, was hit by a bouncer and unfortunately died due to the injury. After Hughes’s death, the wearing of neck guards was introduced to protect the batsman against these kinds of incidences. The wearing of a neck guard is however optional, and even though Smith was wearing his helmet, he wasn’t wearing a neck guard.

The Crowds Booed His Return

While Smith was walking off the field, he was receiving a standing ovation from the crowds. After being checked out and returning to the ground, an individual section within the English groups decided it was time for a reminder of his previous 12-month ban from cricket after being found guilty of ball-tampering and booed his return.

This behaviour is severely condemned by his teammates as well as former cricket stars from the Australian side. Also, chief executive Alistair Nicholson and president, Greg Dyer, added their voices to the concern regarding the crowd’s behaviour. During a joint statement, they expressed their belief that not only does the sport of cricket deserve better functioning but especially so at Lord’s, which is the heart of the English world of cricket. Also, the Australian Cricketer’s Association which is a representative body for the Australian cricketers, condemned the fact that the crowd verbally abused an injured player.

Australia Taking Third

Considering the excellent performance which Smith has been delivering up to know in the Ashes, going into the third series without Smith is a less than ideal situation for the team. Smith was keen on playing and stated that he would be playing at Headingley in Leeds if he passed the protocol and is considered fit enough to be on the field. Unfortunately for him and the team, this didn’t happen. Smith was diagnosed with a mild concussion later on during play and was sent off the field. This is an injury of which he didn’t recover in time to be deemed fit for game in the third series. Smith will be replaced by Marnus Labuschagne, who is in the role of concussion substitute.