Will Pucovski retires hurt after being struck by bouncer in Sheffield Shield match

Hobart, March 3 (IANS): Australia batter Will Pucovski was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the head by a bouncer in his team Victoria’s ongoing Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, adding to his long history of dealing with concussions.

Facing fast-bowler Riley Meredith, Pucovski took his eyes off a short ball and was hit flush on the helmet while trying to duck it. He immediately fell on the ground and looked in huge discomfort as doctors came running out on the field.

Few minutes later, Pucovski was on his feet and walked off the ground gingerly while holding his head, retiring hurt for zero. Victoria later announced that Campbell Kellaway has replaced Pucovski as a concussion substitute for the remainder of the match.

"Will is currently in the hands of our medical professionals. We'll look to provide an update in due course," said a statement from Victoria. In January this year, Pucovski had made 42 when he was struck on the helmet while trying to play a hook shot against South Australia pacer David Grant in a match for Victoria’s second eleven.

He continued to bat in his innings after looking shaken up, but after facing four more balls he retired hurt. Pucovski then cleared a concussion test to be able to resume batting. Later, he scored his seventh first-class century in Victoria’s clash with New South Wales at the SCG.

Pucovksi’s cricketing career has been marred by close to a dozen previous concussions that have seen him play just one Test match for Australia, which came against India at the SCG during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in 2021. He made 62 in the match, but suffered a shoulder injury, which forced him to miss the Brisbane Test.

Pucovski has made a return to cricket this Australian summer after suffering 11 concussions and taking leave from the game due to mental health reasons in October 2022, though the decision wasn’t related to concussions.

"The concussions have masked the bigger issues, and that’s the mental health stuff. The mental health has been a much bigger issue for me than even the concussions. I don’t fear for my long-term health, it’s more the mental health side that’s been the tougher part," said Pucovski once on his concussion issues in a Vic State Cricket podcast episode.


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Title: Will Pucovski retires hurt after being struck by bouncer in Sheffield Shield match

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