Beau Casson's return to cricket with New South Wales has taken a most unfortunate turn after the former Australian left-arm wrist spinner was taken to hospital.
Recalled to the NSW side for the first Sheffield Shield match of the summer, against South Australia at Adelaide Oval, 28-year-old Casson felt unwell and left the field shortly before lunch on day one. He was later hospitalised for monitoring of his state.
Casson's career, which shone briefly when he was picked for his Test debut against the West Indies in 2008 and returned match figures of 3 for 129, has been dogged by a congenital heart condition known as Fallot's syndrome, which impedes the heart's ability to regulate its rate after physical exertion.
Last November, Casson underwent surgery for the condition, and returned to play for the Blues in a Shield fixture against Victoria at the MCG in February. He was excited by the prospect of playing in Adelaide, but the sight of Simon Katich delivering 17 overs in his stead was not the return Casson was looking for.
"Unfortunately he wasn't feeling too well and he had to go off the field, we'll know a bit more in the next couple of days I guess, once the tests have been done," Katich said. "He's had some issue in the past with that, so he went off the field and had to miss, he's in hospital at the moment. Hopefully he will be alright.
"He's had a previous condition which he had problems with last year, I think he fainted at one stage at third man in a club game and it's a very serious condition. The boys are pretty disappointed, it wasn't great circumstances for him given it was obviously great for him to be back into the team."
Daniel Harris, the SA opening batsman, said he and fellow opener Michael Klinger had little inkling of any trouble.
"All our thoughts and wishes go to Beau and hopefully he's ok, it's not too serious," Harris said. "He went off just before lunch and it looked like they'd wanted to bowl him an over or two before lunch. We thought he'd gone off with a finger or something insignificant, and the next we heard he's gone to hospital. Hopefully he's ok and we see him here towards the end of the game."
Katich was left to do an unexpectedly heavy share of the spin bowling for the Blues, and did well to claim two wickets and bowl tidily on a pitch that offered some turn but was friendly to batsmen.
"The plan was I might've bowled anyway but not to the same extent [as today]," Katich said. "I've probably been bowling a lot in the winter, since June when we've been training and given that I knew I wasn't going to be captain that was always something that meant I was going to bowl more, I was going to be asked to when if I'm in charge I don't bowl myself."