Cricket Australia have confirmed that their medical team will be in close touch with Rajasthan Royals to ensure that the club does not rush the re-integration of Steve Smith back into the side. RR’s captain Smith missed the ODI series versus England after suffering a blow to his head in training.
Cricket Australia are willing to take no chances and are set to leave no stone unturned in ensuring the safe re-integration of Steve Smith back into the sport. Smith, who missed the entirety of the ODI series versus England after suffering a knock to his head in the nets ahead of the first ODI, will fly to the UAE to represent the Rajasthan Royals side in the forthcoming IPL edition, but CA are keen to work closely with the Jaipur-based franchise to ensure there is no callousness with respect to the handling of their talisman.
CA’s head of sports science Alex Kountouris has revealed in a statement that the board will prioritize safety and will take no chances with respect to Smith, who has a history of concussion.
“Cricket Australia has strict protocols when it comes to head impacts and concussions and, as we’ve seen over the last 12 months, we’re not willing to compromise on those,” CA’s head of sports science Alex Kountouris said in a statement.
“Steve is making progress and working with our medical team through the concussion protocols required to return to play.”
With Smith set to arrive in the UAE alongside the other English and Australian players on Thursday night, the mandatory six-day quarantine could, in fact, end up working in his favour, as it will mean that he would get more time to shrug off the grogginess, if there is any. Kountouris confirmed that the conservative approach CA have taken with Smith, who was pulled out of the ODI series, falls under their policy to prioritize players’ health and safety over everything else.
“The conservative management of Steve through this injury is consistent with our approach to put the player’s welfare first, as we did with him during the Ashes last year,” Kountouris said.
“We are striving to create environments where players trust that our medical team will always put their welfare first and therefore speak openly with them, whether this is about concussion, other injuries or mental health.”
The mandatory quarantine will also mean that Smith will miss the Royals’ first match against Chennai Super Kings on September 22. Pacer Jaydev Unadkat is expected to lead the side in the absence of the Australian.