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Australia v West Indies 2022/23

Nkrumah Bonner allowed to continue against Cummins and Starc after helmet blow before being withdrawn with concussion

Nkrumah Bonner is hit on the helmet, continuing to bat and then being withdrawn due to concussion
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

West Indies batter Nkrumah Bonner remained on the field for five and a half overs after copping a blow to the head before he was ultimately removed from the first Test in Australia and replaced by a concussion substitute.

Bonner, who was ruled out of the 2021 St. Lucia Test against South Africa with concussion, was struck by on the back of the helmet by a Cameron Green bouncer and after initial checks was deemed okay to continue batting.

The incident took place in the 34th over of the West Indies innings with Bonner on eight. After a lengthy pause in play, Bonner was adjudged okay to continue and resumed his innings with a different helmet, one with stem guards in place – his first helmet did not have the additional protective equipment.


Bonner then continued to bat for an additional five and a half overs – where he was exposed to the pace of Green, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc before retiring hurt at the drinks break.

The incident was reminiscent of the treatment of Steve Smith in the 2019 Lord’s Ashes Test where Smith was allowed to continue his innings after briefly going off the field after copping a sickening blow off the bowling of Jofra Archer. Smith was later ruled out of the rest of that game as well as the following Test at Headingley. On that occasion, the decision to let Smith continue drew criticism from the brain injury charity Headway. At the time, their deputy chief executive Luke Griggs said: “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.”

West Indies were ultimately bowled out in their first innings for 283 in response to Australia’s 598-4 declared.


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