Sri Lanka news April 24, 2016

Kaushal Silva airlifted after blow to head

File photo - Kaushal Silva was left dazed after being hit on the head while fielding at short leg © AFP

Sri Lanka batsman Kaushal Silva has been airlifted to a Colombo hospital, after being struck on the head during a practice match at Pallekele. Initial CAT scans suggested Silva was out of danger, but he will continue to be monitored as a precautionary measure.

Team management said Silva appeared to have been struck just below the back rim of the helmet - in the padded wings that became part of helmet design following Phillip Hughes' death. Teammates believe the injury could have been more substantial if he had been wearing a helmet without this added protection.

"Kaushal was fielding at short leg when he got hit," team manager Charith Senanayake said."[Dinesh Chandimal] swept a ball right onto the back of Kaushal's head. He did take evasive action, but still the ball hit him."

Senanayake said Silva was left dazed moments after the impact, and that he had exhibited symptoms consistent with concussion. The accident had occurred at about 3:30 pm and Silva was immediately taken to a Kandy hospital, where he underwent the initial CAT scan. The decision was then made to transfer him to Colombo.

The two-day practice match had been part of the Sri Lanka team's preparation for the tour of England, for which the side departs on May 3. Silva had struck a hundred in the first day of this match, and appeared likely to earn a place in Sri Lanka's squad for the forthcoming Tests. Silva's last Test came against West Indies in October 2015.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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