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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

West Indian Omar Phillips hit on back head (when non-striker) survives .....

In a series of posts, I have been communicating my thoughts on Cricket injuries, the unfortunate death of Phil Hughes, the eye injuries ending the career of players and the strange incident of Alan Read who lost sight in left eye when he was 36 and regaining it after 48 years now !..... You may not know or have read of Omar Phillips, a left-handed opening who  was among seven Test debutants in the St Vincent Test against Bangladesh in 2009 when the seniors went on strike over contracts. He made an impression in his first match for West Indies, falling six short of a debut century in St Vincent.

The untimely death of Phil Hughes prompted a debate about the use of the bouncer, but at Adelaide in the 1st Test Indian pacer Varun Aaron bowled the first in the fourth over, a sizzling 145 kph delivery that drew applause from the crowd and that Warner did well to avoid. Away, the left handed Omar Phillips has been in  news for wrong reasons.  

The Barbados Pride was beset with an injury on the first day of Round 4 against Windwards Islands Volcanoes at the Arnos Vale ground in St. Vincent on 5th Dec 14.  The injury occurred when Barbadian batsman Omar Phillips was accidentally struck unconscious by a shotl from fellow batsman Shai Hope and had to be taken to hospital where he received a CAT scan.

He has since been cleared of serious injury.  Reports suggest that a CT scan was done on Phillips after he had lost consciousness as a result of being hit on the back of his head, despite wearing a helmet. The scan, according to a statement on the WICB website, "came up negative for any damage". Phillips, 28, an opening batsman who had played two Tests for West Indies in 2009 against Bangladesh, was batting on 38 when a shot from Barbados' No. 3 Shai Hope struck him.  Phillips became unconscious on the field before a doctor rushed to the scene. He was then taken to hospital in an ambulance, accompanied by the team physio. A statement on West cricket's official website read: "The Barbados Pride are breathing a collective sigh of relief today." The Phillips incident has come just over a week after Australian batsman Phil Hughes died after he was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

"Thank God" was the WhatsApp message posted by Omar Phillips, the Barbados and West Indies opener, once he had regained consciousness at the Milton Kato Memorial Hospital, in Kingstown in St Vincent. "It has been a difficult situation for me in terms of having a seen a cricketer die of a similar injury." Phillips is quoted as saying.  Phillips had no immediate recollection of the sequence of events once he lost consciousness. Till late on Friday, Phillips was not even aware how long he was unconscious. Six minutes it was, he was told later. "I don't really remember what happened after I got struck. All I remember was waking up at the hospital. At that time I kept thinking about the whole Phil Hughes stuff. And I was kind of scared because you never know with a head injury how serious it could be."  The family too was naturally worried as many people kept calling the house.

This is not the first time Phillips was hit on the head. Five years ago, in a first division match in the domestic league in Barbados, he got a "nasty blow" on the front of the helmet while fielding at short leg after the batsman pulled a short delivery straight into him. But Phillips stood up immediately and never was bothered. Incidentally, in previous round of the Professional League against Guyana, Phillips was once again at shortleg and had his right hand injured trying to fend off a straight hit into his body. Last Friday, as Hope's bullet-like stroke came his way, Phillips raised his right hand as the first line of defence. But, a fraction later, he withdrew the hand.

This time the lofted powerful shot was different striking him at the bottom right of the rear of the helmet.   The scans came out clear and Phillips was "a lot more relieved" even if he was far away from "fully back being my normal self". As he woke up in the hospital Phillips still had blurred vision and saw two doctors over him. He admitted he was rattled. "I didn't understand really what was going on at the moment."  The cricketer is thankful to Barbados physiotherapist Jacqui King, who was constantly talking to him and trying to help him relax.  Once the doctors, having observed him overnight, allowed him to leave Phillips went straight first to the ground to let his team-mates knows he was fine before boarding a flight back home from St Vincent.

The striker Hope 21 was certainly ecstatic seeing Phillips back and reportedly kept telling 'sorry' all the time. I told him he did nothing wrong. It is all part of the game. Barbados team were happy to see their Ramo (Phillips' nickname) standing back up on his legs. His concussion still gives him stabbing pains accompanied by dizziness at times. According to Phillips, doctors have prescribed a rehabilitation period of at least a couple of weeks. And he is not rushing back, though he is keen to be back at the batting end soon…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Dec 2014 [inputs taken from hosts of websites primarily Cricinfo.com]

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