England bowler's Phil Hughes fears after sickening Steve Smith incident

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Jofra Archer and the Steve Smith concussion scare at Lord's in 2019.
Jofra Archer felled Steve Smith with a vicious bouncer in the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Pic: Getty

England fast bowler Jofra Archer says his mind immediately went to late Aussie cricketer Phillip Hughes when he felled Steve Smith with a vicious bouncer in the 2019 Ashes series.

Smith copped a frightening blow on day four of the second Ashes Test, when he misread an Archer delivery that could have done serious damage.

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Batting partner Pat Cummins and a stack of fielders rushed to Smith, while Australia's team doctor Richard Saw sprinted out to the middle and insisted the batsman retired hurt.

The horrifying scenes drew eery similarities to the tragic Sheffield Shield incident that led to Hughes' death in 2014.

Archer admits that like many in the cricketing world, his thoughts turned to that horrific tragedy when Smith hit the turf at Lord's.

“My first reaction was that it hit the helmet but a few seconds after he went down, everyone was like ‘Oh no’,” Archer told Drive on talkSPORT.

“We had the stuff with Phil a few years ago and, generally, anything that hits you in that vicinity is going to be trouble."

Smith admitted in a documentary series that covered the incident, that he was lucky to walk away from the blow relatively unscathed.

"The point where I got hit wasn't too far from where he (Hughes) did and just at that point the first thing that came into my mind was, 'It's just not fair. I'm OK, like. It's not fair'," Smith said on The Test.

Smith was replaced in the second Test by Marnus Labuschagne, who became the first concussion substitute in Test cricket history, following rule changes prompted by the Hughes tragedy.

Former Aussie skipper Smith then sat out the third Test after experiencing ongoing concussion-like symptoms, before returning to star in the final two Tests as Australia retained the Ashes.

"I’m just glad that he came out on the other side of it and batted in two games," Archer added.

England given green light to resume training

Archer and his England teammates are set to return to training next week as the sport takes its first steps towards a possible resumption.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) say a carefully controlled plan designed to be in line with the UK government's guidance has been put in place, with venues across the country utilised for individual sessions.

Bowlers will begin their training programs on Monday and a fortnight later batsmen and wicketkeepers will follow suit.

All players will train individually on a staggered basis alongside a coach, physio and conditioning coach.

Each individual will observe strict social distancing, hygiene and temperature testing protocols.

Temperatures of players and staff will be taken before they will be allowed to train and physios will have to wear personal protective equipment to treat injuries.

The English county season was supposed to get underway on April 12 but due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has halted sport around the world, it was pushed forward to July 1 with the much-vaunted Hundred tournament postponed until 2021.

The West Indies were slated to play three Tests from June 4 but discussions are underway about the matches being played behind closed doors at venues that have hotels on site later this summer.

Australia are due to play three ODI and three T20 matches from July 3, but that three-week tour will almost certainly be scrapped or rearranged for later in the year - possibly September.

with AAP