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Umpire Reiffel injury-free after blow to head

Paul Reiffel took a blow on the head while standing at square leg AFP

Umpire Paul Reiffel will not stand for the remainder of the Mumbai Test after suffering concussion because of a blow to the back of the head on the opening day.

Reiffel was helped off the field by England's medical staff and went to hospital where tests cleared him of serious injury, but he was advised to rest. Marais Erasmus, who was the TV umpire, will continue in the on-field role for the rest of the match.*

An ICC statement said: "Paul Reiffel underwent precautionary tests yesterday, which came back all clear. Paul, however, has been advised to rest, which is the normal course prescribed following a concussion. As such, he will not take any further part in the Mumbai Test and has been replaced by Marais Erasmus."

The accident took place in the 49th over of England's innings, when Keaton Jennings worked R Ashwin past the square leg. From three-fourths of the way to the fence, Bhuvneshwar Kumar lobbed a throw back to Cheteshwar Pujara, who stood between Reiffel and the stumps. The throw didn't have enough power, and Pujara seemed to warn Reiffel late, leaving him time only to duck. Had Reiffel stood upright the ball might have glanced the top of his head; but now it hit the sensitive area on the back of the head.

The other umpire Bruce Oxenford, who wears an arm guard in limited-overs cricket, rushed to provide Reiffel shade with his hat and the England medical team looked after the 50-year-old umpire as he collapsed to the ground. Play was held up for 10 to 12 minutes shortly before the scheduled afternoon drinks break. Erasmus took Reiffel's place on the field as he walked off for a medical examination.

It helped that there was an understudy for the third umpire: C Shamshuddin, who has stood in ODIs, was at the ground as part of a programme to train local umpires on the DRS. Shamshuddin, who was better versed with DRS protocols than fourth umpire Nitin Menon, moved into the TV umpire's seat.

Reiffel is scheduled to be an on-field official during the final Test in Chennai.

* December 9, 2.15pm IST: This story was updated with news of Paul Reiffel not returning for the Test