Birmingham v Nottinghamshire, NatWest T20 Blast, Edgbaston July 12, 2017

Fletcher ruled out for season after head injury

ESPNcricinfo staff
12

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WATCH - Fletcher struck in head by Hain drive

Nottinghamshire's seam bowler Luke Fletcher has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being struck on the head in his followthrough in a T20 Blast fixture at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Fletcher was assessed and treated at the ground before being quickly transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for further investigations. Although he was discharged on Sunday, he returned to hospital to undergo further tests on Tuesday.

"Following consultation with doctors, Luke has been ruled out for the rest of the 2017 season to allow adequate time to recover and complete a monitored care plan to ensure he has a safe return to play," said Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket.

"Whilst we are all obviously very disappointed, Luke's health is of paramount importance and comes first. We will continue to give him every support as he undergoes his recovery."

The incident occurred in the fourth over of Birmingham's run-chase at Edgbaston. Fletcher's first ball of the night was driven ferociously straight back by Sam Hain and struck him on the head in his followthrough.

The umpire signalled instantly for medical assistance, and it was clear from the reaction of the players that they felt the incident was potentially very serious. Fletcher was concussed, but he did not lose consciousness and he was able to walk from the field aided by a physio with a towel over his head.

He was attended to by paramedics in the dressing-room, and was taken to a Nottingham hospital for further examination. His team-mate, Jake Ball, later tweeted a picture of Fletcher, wearing an oxygen mask but with his thumbs up, adding: "Horrible injury to @fletcherluke but looks like he's doing well off to hospital #legend"

Play was suspended for half an hour, but eventually resumed with Birmingham stealing a six-wicket victory with a single on the final ball.

One of the most popular players in county cricket, Fletcher was given the warmest of ovations from the 9,000 crowd and, typically, waved in acknowledgement. But with the players visibly concerned, the decision was taken to temporarily halt the game.

He later tweeted from hospital that it was time for some paracetamol.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Francis on July 13, 2017, 11:22 GMT

    Safety in cricket, and in sport generally, deserves more serious thought, and action, than it's been getting. Sport injuries at their worst can affect someone for the rest of their lives, and some have lost their lives. Giving people the proper protection doesn't mean giving less commitment or less effort. It's just common sense.

  •   cricfan69564930 on July 13, 2017, 6:21 GMT

    hang in there Mosejact....being in the minority doesn't mean you are wrong....i do think one day we will see a safer ball in international cricket,but the ICC/MCCosaur will have to find some forward momentum first...Mosejact have you heard the 100th monkey concept-seems apt....

  • Tom on July 12, 2017, 14:50 GMT

    CRICINFOUSER ON JULY 12, 2017, 12:30 GMT I have made several comments in the past about the old fashioned cricket ball which is as hard as a rock, and the need to make cricket a safer game, but I am in the minority. As soon as my comment is published there are usually several comments against my idea of introducing a safer ball. --------------------------------------- Mostly because your idea is unscientific claptrap.

  • mj39168129558 on July 12, 2017, 13:23 GMT

    In America they play a little girly game we call rounders that might be more your sort of thing.

  • mosesjact on July 12, 2017, 12:30 GMT

    I have made several comments in the past about the old fashioned cricket ball which is as hard as a rock, and the need to make cricket a safer game, but I am in the minority. As soon as my comment is published there are usually several comments against my idea of introducing a safer ball. It is nice to see at least one comment supporting my view. - mosesjact..

  • Francis on July 12, 2017, 12:20 GMT

    As cricket is played faster now, with the ball being hit harder and further, now is the time to better protect bowlers and fielders, as well as the enhanced protection for batsmen. Luke should be OK for next season, but cricket must learn from this and act now to prevent a repeat. T20 is fast and frenetic, and Sky do a brilliant job of covering it, so let's make the spectacle safe for all involved.

  • mj39168129558 on July 12, 2017, 11:17 GMT

    'Safeguard cricketer'. 'Less lethal type of cricket ball'. What a pair of wimps. He's a grown man and the ball is hard, sometimes people will get hurt.

  • Sanjay on July 12, 2017, 10:28 GMT

    Sensible move enabled by a solid medical insurance safety net. Other national boards and their respective associations/clubs need to take notice - most will not take adequate measures to safeguard a non-international cricketer.

  •   cricfan69564930 on July 12, 2017, 10:05 GMT

    wish Luke all the best in his lengthy enforced break from the game he loves....sadly Luke is just the most current victim in a long list of players whose injuries could have been prevented by using a less lethal type of cricket ball....

  • ian on July 12, 2017, 10:01 GMT

    That's tough on Luke and tough on Notts. LF is a wholehearted and skilful bowler and any side would consider him a major asset. Have a restful and positive summer off, Fletch! Best wishes for a full recovery and looking forward to seeing you back in harness in 2018. (Nutcutlet contributed)

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