Advertisement

Will Pucovski plan cancelled in crushing new blow for luckless Aussie cricket player

The Victorian batter was due to play for Leicestershire in County Cricket this winter.

Will Pucovski has been forced to cancel his planned stint in County Cricket this winter after his latest head knock while playing for Victoria. The cricket career of the former batting prodigy is once again under a cloud after he suffered yet another concussion earlier this month.

Pucovski ducked into a short ball while playing for Victoria against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield on March 3, and suffered the 12th reported concussion of his career. He was subbed out of the game and didn't play this week, with fresh concerns he might be forced to retire prematurely.

Will Pucovski.
Will Pucovski's cricket career is under a fresh cloud. Image: Getty

The situation took another sad twist on Friday when it emerged that Pucovski won't be taking up his deal to play with Leicestershire in English County Cricket this winter. Pucovski had been due to link up with the Goxes for the opening five rounds of the county championship, but the decision has now been made for him to remain at home.

"It's a huge shame to lose Will at this stage, but his health must come first," Foxes' head of cricket Claude Henderson said. "Given the proximity to the start of the English season, it has been agreed by all parties to allow him the necessary time to recover. We want to wish Will all the best as he continues to recuperate in Australia."

Marcus Harris to replace Will Pucovski at Leicestershire

Leicestershire have moved quickly to lock in Pucovski's replacement, signing fellow Aussie opener Marcus Harris. The left-hander scored 887 runs in 12 matches at an average of 55.44 the last time he played for Leicestershire, before having another run-laden two years at Gloucestershire.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to represent Leicestershire again," he said. "My goal is to win a few games for the team and have another memorable experience with a great group."

Will Pucovski, pictured here after another head knock.
Will Pucovski has endured a nightmare with head knocks throughout his career. (Getty Images)

RELATED:

The good news for Harris comes as another crushing blow for Pucovski. The 26-year-old was touted as a Test star in the making at the start of his career and made his debut for Australia against India in 2021.

However he injured his shoulder while diving in the field during that match, and hasn't made it back to the Test arena. As well as the plethora of concussions, Pucovski has also taken a number of breaks from the game to deal with mental health issues. Speaking earlier this year, the Victorian said he has no doubts the concussions caused the mental health problems.

Should Cricket Australia prevent Will Pucovski from playing?

Whether or not Pucovski wants to continue his career remains to be seen, but there's a chain of thought that Cricket Australia might need to step in and prevent him from returning. Leading sports lawyer Paddy Moylan, who is heavily involved in cricket umpiring, administration and coaching, told Yahoo Sport Australia earlier this month: "What damage is been caused to Will from the repetitive concussions is a worry.

"It is being discussed in legal circles how the ongoing sequence of events Will has experienced should be dealt with. Everyone is learning more about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and, ultimately, I can see a situation where a player may seek to challenge in court any damage incurred in the short term or the long term.

"It happens in other sports now and it will happen in cricket. Cricket does a great job at getting ahead of the issue but individual cases need to be treated with the same approach. I think there may have to be a limit for how many concussions are endured before a player cannot play. We have seen what can happen to footballers and boxers. We don’t want cricketers to be next."

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.

Yahoo Australia