Will Pucovski 'not expected to return' in sad retirement development for Aussie cricket star

It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Pucovski will play cricket again.

It is becoming increasingly likely that Will Pucovski may have played his last professional cricket match. The former Test batsman was ruled out of the sport indefinitely after being struck on the helmet by a bouncer during Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania in March.

Pucovski ducked into a short ball while playing for Victoria on March 3, and suffered the 12th reported concussion of his career. It was a crushing blow to Pucovski who had only scored a century against New South Wales the month prior, marking his first first-class hundred in more than three years.

Will Pucovski is becoming increasingly unlikely to play first class cricket again. Image: Getty
Will Pucovski is becoming increasingly unlikely to play first class cricket again. Image: Getty

Pucovski's talent has long been there to see but his career has been limited by multiple concussion setbacks. He also took a six-week break from cricket during the 2018/19 home summer to deal with mental health issues.

Pucovski had been set to play in the first five rounds of the County Championship this year but had that stint cancelled by Leicestershire so he could focus on his latest concussion recovery. However, according to a report from Code Sports, Victorian cricket players and officials are "increasingly resigned" to the idea that he will never play the sport again. An expert medical panel reportedly convened following his latest blow to the head, the latest in a long history of concussions.

Cricket Victoria performance chief Graham Manou told Code Sports this week that the "expert panel has met" and is "currently working through the findings". But the publication added that the sources said Victorian players are not expecting Pucovski to return to the field ever again. Cricket Victoria announced in early May that it had retained Pucovski in its squad for 2024-25, although whether he was to play was always tied to medical advice.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: Will Pucovski L) speaks with Australian Head Coach Justin Langer during an Australian nets session at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 02, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
Will Pucovski may never play again after suffering his 12th concussion of his career in March.

There have been growing talks that regardless of what Pucovski wants, the decision on whether he takes the field again could be taken out of his hands, with speculation Cricket Australia could 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 in March: "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."