Zimbabwe’s debutant opening batsman Kevin Kasuza has passed an initial test for concussion after being struck on the side of his helmet while fielding at short leg during Sri Lanka’s innings in the ongoing Harare Test. He will continue to be monitored overnight for concussion.
Typically, a player is assessed before the start of the next day’s play as well, as was the case recently when New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls was struck on the head by Jofra Archer and passed initial assessments.
A statement from Zimbabwe Cricket’s official handle said Kasuza had sustained a soft tissue injury to the skull, but a concussion test was negative and that a CT scan had ruled out internal injury.
#1stTest | Day 3 | INJURY UPDATE: Kevin Kasuza was hit by the ball on the side of his helmet while fielding at short-leg and sustained soft tissue injury in the skull. A concussion test was negative, while a CT scan also ruled out internal injury #ZIMvSL#TestSeriespic.twitter.com/ktE61QRA8L
Zimbabwe Cricket (@ZimCricketv) January 21, 2020
The incident occured in the 42nd over when Kusal Mendis played a firm pull shot against Sean Williams. As Mendis was shaping up for the shot, Kasuza took the widely-used evasive position of tucking the head downwards and between the legs. However, Kasuza wasn’t particularly low in his squat and the ball struck the back of the right side of his helmet before ricocheting towards the fine leg boundary.
Kasuza was on his feet for a few seconds and only took his helmet off after the batsmen had completed two runs. It was at this point that he appeared to get dizzy, and was assisted by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva to stay on his feet before gently going down to the ground. Shortly after, he walked off with the team doctor, pausing occasionally to regain his balance. He then went off for scans and took no further part on the day. Timycen Maruma replaced him in the field.
The recently introduced concussion substitution protocols dictate that the team’s medical representative – usually the physio – must run standardised tests and submit a report to the match referee. Should Kasuza fail that test on the morning of the fourth day, the match referee will assess if the substitute named by Zimbabwe is a like-for-like swap. Zimbabwe have allrounders Maruma and Brian Mudzinganyama as batting options on the bench. Should either of them be called upon as substitutes, they will only be allowed to play as batsmen.