Star Australian cricketer Steve Smith has been ruled out of Thursday’s third Ashes Test at Headingley after failing to recover in time from his delayed concussion.
Coach Justin Langer told media on a cold Tuesday morning at the Test venue that Smith, 30, had not been cleared to play in Leeds by team doctor Richard Saw.
Smith was the first player in international cricket to be substituted out of a match after he was struck on the neck by a searing Jofra Archer bouncer on day four of the Lord’s Test.
Smith was removed from play as a precaution, and resumed his innings after passing a series of concussion tests.
But after waking up groggy and with a headache on the morning of day five, Smith was substituted under a new concussion replacement rule by Marnus Labuschagne.
Cricket.com.au reports that under Cricket Australia protocols, Smith was required to show no symptoms of concussion, gradually return to full activity, pass routine assessments and face fast bowling in the nets to ensure his reaction speeds had not waned.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 17, 2019
Dr Saw will continue to assess Smith regularly and remains in sole control of his gradual return to activity.
“The doc has been doing a fantastic job so far on tour with everyone. He had a busy week,” teammate Travis Head said.
“I know he’s looking after him [Smith] pretty well – he is in good hands.”
Smith has been integral to Australia taking a 1-0 series lead, scoring 378 runs – 142, 144 and 92 – in his three innings.
Smith has a fortnight to be ready for the fourth Test in Manchester, which starts on September 4.
There is also a three-day tour match at Derby from August 29 to 31.
Labuschagne, who starred on Sunday with 59 to ensure Australia held on to draw the second Test, looms as the favourite to take Smith’s place in the XI.