Paul Reiffel took a blow on the head while standing at square leg © AFP
Umpire Paul Reiffel has been cleared of injury after a throw from deep square leg hit him on the back of his head during the first day of the Mumbai Test. Reiffel was sent to hospital for a scan and, though he returned to the Wankhede Stadium, he was advised rest for the remainder of the first day.
The accident took place in the 49th over of England’s innings, when Keaton Jennings worked R Ashwin past the square leg. From three-fourths of the way to the fence, Bhuvneshwar Kumar lobbed a throw back to Cheteshwar Pujara, who stood between Reiffel and the stumps. The throw didn’t have enough power, and Pujara seemed to warn Reiffel late, leaving him time only to duck. Had Reiffel stood upright the ball might have glanced the top of his head; but now it hit the sensitive area on the back of the head.
The other umpire Bruce Oxenford, who wears an arm guard in limited-overs cricket, rushed to provide Reiffel shade with his hat and the England medical team looked after the 50-year-old umpire as he collapsed to the ground. Play was held up for 10 to 12 minutes shortly before the scheduled afternoon drinks break. Marais Erasmus, the third umpire, took Reiffel’s place on the field as he walked off for a medical examination.
It helped that there was an understudy for the third umpire: C Shamshuddin, who has stood in ODIs, was at the ground as part of a programme to train local umpires on the DRS. Shamshuddin, who was better versed with DRS protocols than fourth umpire Nitin Menon, moved into the TV umpire’s seat.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo