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News

Chamika Gunasekara concussed out on Test debut after blow to the head

Kasun Rajitha came into Sri Lanka's XI as a replacement

Chamika Gunasekara took a blow to the helmet, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Only Test, Colombo, 3rd day, February 4, 2024

Chamika Gunasekara took a blow to the helmet on Test debut  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka debutant Chamika Gunasekara was forced to retire hurt, and was ruled out from the remainder of the game, after he was hit on the helmet by a Naveed Zadran bouncer on the third morning of the Test against Afghanistan. Kasun Rajitha was quickly approved as a concussion substitute, and began bowling early in Afghanistan's second innings.
Sri Lanka's team manager confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Gunasekara, 24, was taken to hospital for further assessment after leaving the field. Sri Lanka cricket later confirmed Gunasekara would remain under observation for 24 hours.
Gunasekara sustained the blow in the 107th over of Sri Lanka's first innings, when he attempted to duck beneath Naveed's bouncer, but the ball did not rise as much as he expected. The ball ended up hitting the top part of the helmet and flying away for four leg byes past the wicketkeeper. A concussion check was immediately administered, and at the time Gunasekara passed the test, and was allowed to continue batting.
In the 110th over, however, Gunasekara seemed to be struggling. He appeared to be in visible pain, as he clutched his head while the medical staff came on to inspect him. He was taken off the field, and did not return.