Pakistan v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi

Head injury rules Smith out for two weeks

Firdose Moonda

November 6, 2013

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith walks off SuperSport Park, South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion, 1st day, February 22, 2013
Graeme Smith is suffering from post-concussion syndrome after being struck on the helmet by Mohammad Irfan in the Dubai Test © AFP

Graeme Smith has been ruled out of the remainder of the ODI series against Pakistan with post-concussion syndrome and will require a minimum two weeks' rest. Smith was struck on the right temple by Mohammad Irfan during the Dubai Test, in which he made a double hundred, more than a week ago and played in the first two ODIs.

At the time, Smith said he merely had a "buzzing head" for the rest of the day but "seven days post-injury, during the second ODI in Dubai he started complaining of blurred vision which progressed to dizziness, unsteadiness on his feet and difficulty focusing," according to team manager Mohammad Moosajee. An MRI scan showed no damage to the brain but Smith will return home to be monitored by medical staff.

Titans opener Henry Davids has been named as Smith's replacement. Davids is already part of the national T20 squad and is the joint-highest scorer in the one-day cup, with 327 runs at 40.87 and three fifties. Colin Ingram, who also leads the run charts, and was part of the squad as Hashim Amla's replacement was sent home after scoring a duck - his third consecutive one in ODIs - and 4 in the first two matches, leaving Quinton de Kock to open the batting with Amla in Wednesday's match.

That means South Africa will not be able to make use of an experienced opening combination in this series. They were hopeful of having Smith and Amla together but that will not be possible since Smith is now injured and Amla was out of the first two games, as he was in South Africa awaiting the birth of his second child.

Instead, they will have to wait for the return series at home when Smith should be available again. In exactly two weeks' time, South Africa will play the first of two T20s against Pakistan at home with the ODI series to follow. The first match is scheduled for November 24 which gives Smith 18 days to make a full recovery.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by Kiwiheart on (November 7, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

@Sathyasing/Surajrises. Playing sport poses risk and cricket is no different, playing cricket we now have the luxury of helmets, pads, and the trustworthy box, and these have become essential. Though where do we stop with safety equipment: fielders, umpires, spectators are all in striking distance of the cricket ball. The spectators are more at risk than most especially in T20 or Australia v India ODI series. The ICC could use a soft ball, maybe the batsmen should have limits on how hard they could hit. Sport is about the excitement and the risk of the unknown.

Posted by CricketChat on (November 7, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

Smith should play out the rest of his career in tests only. SA may not miss him and Kallis since they have been more out of the team than in in recent times.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (November 7, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

It's sad to hear this. Feel very sorry for him. I hope the damage if any, is not that bad. I remember "Bret-the hitman-heart" in wrestling, one of the legends in wrestling, had to retire because of "post-concussion syndrome" forever, due to a kick by "Bill Goldberg", and "Goldberg" lamented a lot which was never meant to be. It's a dangerous thing. God bless him. May triple gems bless him.

Posted by android_user on (November 7, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Blessing in disguise for SA

Posted by android_user on (November 7, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

i play cricket my self for a local club now every time i get hit by the ball that should be down to me that i should go in the nets and practice shewaq for example struggled against fast bowling india dropped him in to middle order ricky ponting later in his career couldnt bat for his life couldnt play his favourite pull/hook shot in a players life moments like this come so probably its time for smith to drop down the order.

Posted by android_user on (November 7, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

This injury is just an excuse the team doesn't want him to play.He's not performing from a long period in the ODI's

Posted by Marktc on (November 7, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

Zia, seriously....cricketers are human and as such, they do sometimes lose concentration or misjudge a it is not about being good enough, it is about them being human. Maybe you should coach with you wisdom of the game.

Posted by android_user on (November 7, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

if u cant take on a bouncer eg play a hook or duck under it then either u need to review ur technique or u are not good against that bowler cant wrap players in cotton wool now can u

Posted by Surajrises on (November 7, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

@Sathyasing I totally agree with you mate. The Cricketing World has already seen a great Wicket Keeper like Mark Boucher getting hurt by a bail and forcing him to retirement and now this incident with Graeme Smith.. The helmet manufacturers should give an extra protection like a cushion inside the helmet so that even if the ball hits the helmet, the batsman or the wicket keeper won't get affected.

Posted by Sathyasing on (November 7, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

RAny game that poses a high risk to human safety needs to be reviewed.With frequent incidents and scary injuries on the rise, ICC shall appoint a team to review the safety of the sportsman and ensure that cricket can be played safely.Forward short leg position,fast deliveries,protection gears,keeper distance behind stumps are some of the items need careful review.

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