SA skipper's controversial call after Harper hospitalisation

South Australian captain Travis Head has rejected Victoria's request for a replacement player after wicketkeeper Sam Harper was hospitalised after a blow to the head.

Harper was struck in the head by a bat in the Sheffield Shield match at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

SCORECARD: South Australia v Victoria

South Australia's Jake Lehmann pulled a short ball from spinner Jon Holland and in his follow-through the bat hit Harper, who was wearing a helmet while standing up to the stumps.

Lehmann collects Harper. Image:

The 20-year-old keeper fell to the turf and appeared in some discomfort but was able to walk off the field with assistance from medical staff.

Lehmann and Cameron White check on Harper. Image:

He was taken to hospital for scans, which have not identified any bleeding or bone damage, but he will remain in hospital overnight for observation and sit out the rest of the match.


It's the second time this summer a wicketkeeper has been struck by a bat, after Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper Peter Nevill was hit by a flying bat during the Big Bash League.

Under Sheffield Shield rules and the spirit of cricket, opposition captains can get together and decide if injured players can be replaced.

Victorian coach and former Australian Test player Andrew McDonald said the Vics had formerly requested to replace Harper with a substitute player for the remainder of the match, but they were denied.

"There was some talk behind the scenes, obviously in extenuating circumstances for a replacement player," McDonald told ABC Grandstand.

Harper in action for the Melbourne Stars during the BBL. Image: Getty

"That was requested and obviously in the spirit of the game the two captains can get together. Travis Head had a good think about it. Apparently there was some sort of vote in their dressing room and the end result is that we won't be able to replace that player in that extenuating circumstance, but that ultimately is South Australia's decision and Travis Head is ultimately responsible for that decision and he felt that it wasn't going to be passed by him."

Victoria are now a batsman down and without their primary wicketkeeper for South Australia's second innings run chase.

with AAP