Sri Lankan cricket suffered a concerning moment during their Test match against Afghanistan as debutant Chamika Gunasekara was forced to retire hurt after sustaining a blow to the head from a bouncer. The incident occurred on the third morning of the Test, leading to Kasun Rajitha being approved as a concussion substitute.
Gunasekara, a 24-year-old making his Test debut, faced the unfortunate blow while attempting to evade a Naveed Zadran bouncer. The ball struck the top part of his helmet and deflected for four leg byes past the wicketkeeper. Despite initially passing a concussion check and continuing to bat, Gunasekara displayed signs of discomfort in the subsequent overs.
In the 110th over of Sri Lanka’s first innings, Gunasekara appeared to be in visible pain, prompting medical attention. Following an inspection by the medical staff, he was taken off the field for further assessment and did not return to the match.
The Sri Lankan team manager confirmed that Gunasekara was taken to the hospital for additional evaluation. The incident serves as a reminder of the risks involved in cricket, particularly when facing fast bowling. Gunasekara’s well-being takes precedence, highlighting the importance of prioritizing player safety in such situations.
The substitution of Gunasekara with Rajitha emphasizes the protocols in place to address head injuries in cricket. Rajitha quickly stepped in to bowl in Afghanistan’s second innings, highlighting the swift response of the match officials and medical staff to ensure player welfare.
This incident underscores the need for ongoing efforts to enhance player safety measures in cricket, including rigorous concussion protocols and immediate medical attention for any head injuries sustained on the field.