All seemed going well in England vs Sri Lanka Board XI warm-up match on Thursday, until a shot from Jos Buttler hit Pathum Nissanka’s helmet. The latter cheated death, as he laid motionless on the ground for the next 20 minutes. Of what began as a joyful celebration for the Lankan team, it nearly ended as a dreadful incident.
Pathum Nissanka was fielding at the short-leg position. Jos Buttler strode out of the crease and hit a mighty blow which ended up crashing on the top of Nissanka’s helmet, who fell holding his head. The ball deflected at Angelo Mathews who was stationed at leg-slip, and he gobbled up the catch.
The Lankan team erupted in joy, and Jos Buttler was declared caught out. However, the players soon realised the gravity of the situation and the physios and medical staff from both the camps ran out in the middle. The play was suspended for nearly 20 minutes.
It was England team’s doctor, Moiz Moghal, who assessed the motionless Nissanka’s situation. Later, the 20-year-old cricketer was taken on a stretcher, wearing a neck brace, into the ambulance which was waiting on the sidelines. Different reports are suggesting that he was unconscious all the while, or was only lying in pain, but hadn’t lost his consciousness.
An update from Sri Lanka Cricket, later, confirmed that he was out of danger and would be kept in medical observation for the next 24 hours. The official statement read, “He was immediately rushed to the hospital and was given specialist medical attention. While an MRI scan showed that the player is out of danger. However, he will remain in the hospital for 24 hours on observation status, following medical advice.”
Here's what Sri Lanka Cricket Board Tweeted on Pathum's Nissanka's Injury:
Pathum Nissanka, who was playing for the Board XI in the 1st practice game vs England, was hospitalized this evening, after he was hit on the helmet, while fielding at the Short Leg. MRI scan showed that the player is out of danger. https://t.co/CW0myHCiuj pic.twitter.com/GaHfvw9BQs
— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) October 31, 2018
England’s explosive batsman, Jos Buttler had his heart in the mouth moment during the entire episode. He said, “You always fear the worst in those situations and never want to cause an injury. I hit that ball hard, and it hit the middle of his helmet. Thank goodness he seems to be OK.”
Pathum Nissanka has played for Sri Lanka Under-19 team and has 14 first-class, 10 List A, and five T20 under his belt. Speaking about the match proceedings, the officials called for an early tea after the play was stalled for 20 minutes. However, the match resumed after the tea-break!