Steve Smith was in 'incredibly dangerous position' after blow to neck at Lord's
Brain injury charity Headway: "You cannot take any risks with concussion, which is why we have always said that all sports have to take an 'if in doubt, sit it out' approach"
Last Updated: 19/08/19 9:33pm
Brain injury charity Headway believes cricket may need to alter its concussion protocols after Steve Smith's blow at Lord's left the Australian in an "incredibly dangerous position".
Smith retired hurt after being hit by a 92mph Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday but later returned to the crease after passing medical tests and added 12 runs to his score before he was dismissed by Chris Woakes.
However, the batsman was then diagnosed with delayed concussion the following morning after complaining of headaches and was ruled out of the fifth day of the Test, a game Australia went on to draw.
"Cricket has been caught on the back foot a little bit with concussion," Headway's deputy chief executive, Luke Griggs, said.
"The reaction time of a batsman facing a 90 mph-plus delivery is incredibly small and yet it is absolutely vital they are fully concentrated.
"With concussion the vision can be blurred and the brain can be slow at processing information. That leads to delayed reaction times and is just incredibly dangerous.
"What this incident highlights is that no test for concussion is foolproof. The signs can be delayed for several hours and sometimes even a couple of days.
"You cannot take any risks with concussion, which is why we have always said that all sports have to take an 'if in doubt, sit it out' approach.
"If there is even an hint of concussion when someone is bowling at 90 mph, there is absolutely no way a player should be on the pitch.
"Cricket may need to consider this, while making it abundantly clear that players should have absolutely no say in the decision."
Cricket Australia, meanwhile, has defended the team doctor who allowed Smith to resume his innings on Saturday.
CA's manager of sports medicine Alex Kountouris, said he was "100 per cent" satisfied Richard Saw's treatment and urged against any over-reaction to the sport's new concussion guidelines.
"The reality is only about one in five or six head impacts end up in concussion," said Kountouris, who added that CA research showed delayed concussion accounted for up to 30 per cent of those cases.
"If we pulled out every player who had a head impact, we'd be pulling out 80 per cent of players who don't have a concussion and taking them out of the game. So that would be an overreaction," he added.
"He didn't have a concussion at the time (Saturday)," he said. "If we took him out of the game, we would have been leaving him out of the game for no reason other than what we saw on the field.
"Our doctor is an expert in his field. He's trained to pick up even the minor signs of concussion. Everything he did was according to the protocol, he was very thorough and we're 100 per cent happy with what happened."
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