Ravindra Jadeja was yesterday ruled of the final two games of India’s Twenty20 series against Australia with concussion after controversy marred the opening clash in Canberra.
The allrounder was hit on the helmet by a rising delivery from Mitchell Starc during his match-turning 44 not out on Friday evening.
He did not get immediate medical treatment but was examined at the innings break and replaced by substitute Yuzvendra Chahal, who then took three crucial wickets as India won by 11 runs.
“The diagnosis was confirmed based on a clinical assessment in the dressing room during the innings break by the BCCI medical team,” the Indian cricket board said in a statement.
“He will not take any further part in the ongoing T20 series.”
Seamer Shardul Thakur was added to the squad as cover.
The substitution was controversial as Jadeja had earlier suffered a leg strain and received extensive treatment, casting doubt over whether he would be able to bowl, before being withdrawn for concussion.
Australia coach Justin Langer was furious, remonstrating with match referee David Boon, apparently unhappy that Chahal, a specialist bowler, was allowed to take the place of an allrounder.
Concussion substitutes were introduced to international cricket last year in a bid to improve player welfare. It allows teams to replace someone with a “like for like” player, approved by the match referee.
After the game, Australia captain Aaron Finch said he accepted the decision, although allrounder Moises Henriques questioned whether Chahal was a suitable replacement.
“I think the only real issue is you’ve got to ask yourself was it a like-for-like replacement? Is he (Jadeja) an out-and-out spinner?” Henriques told cricket.com.au.
“That’s something they may need to look into, but those things are going to happen.”
Australia, meanwhile, were sweating on the fitness of Finch who hurt his right leg while batting.
“A bit of a hip or a glute (buttock injury), I’m not sure at the moment,” he told reporters.
Pujara caught in England racism storm
India’s top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara became part of a racism controversy after a couple of former Yorkshire employees lent support to former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who has alleged that the experience of racism at the county had forced him to attempt suicide.
Pujara, currently in Australia for Test series, had played for Yorkshire in 2015 and 2018.
“(There were) continuous references to taxi drivers and restaurant workers when referring to (the) Asian community. They called every person of colour ‘Steve’. Even (India batsman) Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called Steve because they could not pronounce his name,” Taj Butt, one of the employees, was quoted as saying in a report on ESPNCricinfo.com
Butt, who was employed within the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation as a community development officer, resigned within six weeks of joining due to the ‘targeted language used at the club’.
Tony Bowry, who worked as a coach and cultural diversity officer at the club, was the other Yorkshire employee who testified.
“Many youngsters struggled to make progress, and the few that did found the environment of the dressing rooms very difficult and unwelcoming, as a direct result of racism they faced. It affected performance - they were labelled trouble-makers,” he was quoted as saying.
Former Yorkshire overseas players, Pakistan’s Rana Naved-ul Hasan and West Indies’s Tino Best have also reiterated their support to Rafiq in his fight against racism at the club.
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