May 5, 2003

Vettori and Atapattu escape serious injury after collision

Daniel Vettori and Marvan Atapattu have escaped serious injury after a gruesome fielding collision on the third afternoon of the second Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at Kandy.

However, the participation of both players in the last two days of the Test match is in doubt. The teams will wait until the morning before deciding whether they are fit enough to continue.

Both players were carried from the field and rushed to hospital in an ambulance following a collision after Atapattu ran out Vettori to end the New Zealand first innings.

Fortunately, x-rays have revealed no serious damage to Vettori's ankle or to Atapattu's neck, which was fitted with a precautionary neck brace, although Atapattu, the Sri Lanka vice-captain, was mildly concussed.

The players were discharged from hospital and sent back to their hotel, where they were advised to rest by doctors.

Jeff Crowe, the New Zealand team manager, said: "The good news is that Dan [Vettori] does not have a fracture. His left ankle is heavily swollen and is in a splint."

"We can make an assessment of it only after 24 hours," Crowe added. "We would err on the side of caution rather than rush him back into action."

Ajit Jayasekera, the Sri Lanka team manager, said: "Marvan had two injuries, a spiked ankle and mild concussion after being hit behind the ear by Vettori's helmet. He should be okay in a day or two."