Will Pucovski, the 20-year old batsman, has been substituted out of Victoria's Sheffield Shield match in Melbourne with a concussion. The incident took place in the 19th over of the team's second innings when he was hit on the head while ducking into a bouncer from New South Wales' Sean Abbott.
Pucovski dropped to his knees after the ball struck flush on the side of his helmet and was losing his balance when Abbott rushed to his side and kept him propped up. The umpires immediately called for medical attention and he was soon taken off the field by Cricket Victoria's staff. The 34-year old allrounder Daniel Christian has taken his place in the XI with the Sheffield Shield actively trialling the use of concussion subs.
Trefor James, the Cricket Victoria doctor, said Pucovski was ruled out from taking further part in the match but will stay with the team for further observation. "We will continue to monitor him over the coming days, and we can then determine a return to play plan for him."
Abbott needed several moments to compose himself as well. In November 2014, a delivery from Abbott had struck Phillip Hughes on the neck, causing a fatal injury. The umpires gave Abbott time to recover and Victoria captain Aaron Finch, who came in following Pucovski's retirement, also went up to share a few words with the bowler.
The match continues at Junction Oval with Victoria successfully securing a first-innings lead of 28.
Pucovski had to deal with concussion last season as well. He was making his first-class debut and while fielding at mid-off - on his birthday - he was struck on the head by a ball that deviated off an uneven outfield. Pucovski suffered a similar injury - this time while batting - in the one-day cup that followed. He left the field briefly, returned to bat again only to be bowled three balls into resuming his innings. The medical staff later confirmed that Pucovski had suffered delayed-onset concussion.