Cricket star hospitalised, game called off
Sri Lankan women's cricket star Achini Kulasuriya was taken to hospital and her team's match against South Africa was called off on Sunday after she suffered a horrible injury as she attempted to take a catch on the boundary.
Playing a warm-up match ahead of the women's T20 World Cup in Australia, the 29-year-old was struck on the head by the ball when she failed to grasp a catch in the deep.
Kulasuriya was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital for tests but was later discharged and cleared of serious injury, cricket.com.au reports. She will continue to be monitored.
The scary incident occurred late in Sri Lanka's tussle against South Africa as the two sides simulated a Super Over situation after the result had already been sealed.
South Africa won the match by 41 runs but because the next match of the day's double-header, between England and New Zealand, wasn't scheduled to start for another hour, both teams agreed to practice their death skills with a Super Over, which takes place if a match ends in a tie.
The Proteas took to the crease in the second Super Over but drama struck on the first ball when big-hitter Chloe Tryon slapped her first ball to long off.
Kulasuriya steadied under the ball but it burst through her fingers and cracked her flush on the skull, sending her crumbling to the turf.
She reportedly lay motionless, face down on the ground for several minutes as teammates rushed to her side.
Ambulance officers assessed Kulasuriya and she was stretchered off the field before being taken to hospital.
Tryon was reportedly distressed by the incident but members of the Sri Lankan camp reassured her Kulasuriya was OK and the batter was in no way to blame for the sickening blow.
The Proteas didn't continue their Super Over after Kulasuriya's scare and the game was called off.
Meanwhile, a landmark no-ball change will likely result in some delays during the women's T20 World Cup as national boards mull whether to extend the third-umpire experiment.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed last week the tournament in Australia will be the first to feature front-foot technology. The third umpire will monitor bowlers' landing foot after each ball and communicate to their on-field counterparts whether it was a legal delivery.
On-field umpires remain in charge of other no-balls but are under instructions not to call a bowler for overstepping, unless advised.
At this stage the change only applies to the tournament starting on Friday. NSW seamer Trent Copeland, who exposed how 21 no-balls were missed in two sessions during this summer's first Test, recently told AAP it must become the norm. Cost had been a commonly cited counter-argument.
But the ICC's senior manager for umpires and referees Adrian Griffith has confirmed that no additional equipment will be required for front-foot monitoring, provided the Decision Review System (DRS) is being used in the same game.
DRS requires cameras with a high frame rate, which also provide the clean shots necessary to judge no-balls from the box.
"If the boards want to roll it out (throughout Tests and international cricket) then we're in a position to do that," former West Indies opener Griffith told AAP.
"Right now, we're doing it in an ICC-controlled event. There's a wider conversation that will need to happen with members.
"We're confident that we're in a position that we can roll this out here and it will have minimum impact on the game, give the right result and enhance the tournament."
The no-ball technology was recently trialled during 12 games in the West Indies and India, with all 4717 deliveries judged accurately.
If coming weeks prove similarly successful then the new system could win a lot of supporters.
There will be a three-second delay before the TV umpire has access to footage. If there is a tight call being judged, or a spinner attempting to rush through their over, there is a potential for play to be temporarily halted as the third umpire does their necessary check.
"In situations where it's very close there probably will be a delay," Griffith said. "They will take a little bit more time."