Will Pucovski could be blocked by Cricket Australia from making a return to the sport

The Victorian batter is facing fresh uncertainty over his future in cricket after another head knock.

A leading sports lawyer believes cricket authorities could soon confront the same concussion-related litigation facing major football codes as the game's officials agonise over Will Pucovski's future. The former Test batsman is out of the game indefinitely after being struck on the helmet during Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania on Sunday.

It is Pucovski's 13th recorded head knock and the calls for him to retire are growing louder, especially among the medical profession. If he does decide to make yet another comeback, Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria may seek to block a return based on medical and legal advice.

Will Pucovski, pictured here in action for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield.
Will Pucovski was concussed again while playing for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. Image: Getty

Leading Sydney-based sports lawyer Paddy Moylan, who is heavily involved in cricket umpiring, administration and coaching, says the game needs to be aware, agile and proactive in handling the concussion issue. "What damage is been caused to Will from the repetitive concussions is a worry," he told Yahoo Sport Australia.

"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."

Will Pucovski.
Will Pucovski has suffered a plethora of concussions throughout his cricket career. (Getty Images)

Do cricket authorities have a duty of care to Will Pucovski?

Moylan pointed out cricket has a duty of care to its participants but players also accept the risks associated with playing the game. He said: "The general rule is that a person who puts themselves in such a position does so aware of the risks, including serious risk, and does not have a legal claim.

"It cannot be said that anyone has sought to cause harm to Will. But if Will was a racehorse he would be retired by the vet and the stewards. That’s a simple way of looking at it but puts it in perspective.

"Cricket has some really good and smart people running the game and I'm sure this has been looked at very deeply." Pucovski is unlikely to play again this season while a stint with Leicestershire in English county cricket is also in doubt.


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