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Renshaw out of third test with concussion

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/01/2017
In this Jan. 5, 2017, photo Australia's Matt Renshaw leaves the field of play shortly after he was hit with a batted ball during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Sydney, Australia. Renshaw has been ruled out for the remainder of the third test against Pakistan due to concussion after being hit on the helmet twice in three days at the Sydney Cricket Ground. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) © The Associated Press In this Jan. 5, 2017, photo Australia's Matt Renshaw leaves the field of play shortly after he was hit with a batted ball during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Sydney, Australia. Renshaw has been ruled out for the remainder of the third test against Pakistan due to concussion after being hit on the helmet twice in three days at the Sydney Cricket Ground. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY — Australia's Matt Renshaw has been ruled out for the remainder of the third test against Pakistan due to concussion after being hit on the helmet twice in three days at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Renshaw, fielding at short leg, was struck on the top of his helmet from a powerful sweep shot by Sarfraz Ahmed on Thursday. The 20-year-old was examined by team doctor Peter Brukner and initially he continued, but left the field an over later due to a headache.

"He rested in the dressing room and then, when we returned to the hotel, we performed concussion tests and his cognitive, balance, co-ordination and reaction times were all within normal limits," Brukner said on Friday. "However, on Friday morning he was still symptomatic and so we have taken the decision to withdraw him from the match as he is suffering from concussion.

"I have to say the coach and the captain have been absolutely supportive. They've said to me all along 'it's your decision doc'. I've had no pressure at all to keep Matthew in the game."

Renshaw was also struck while batting on Tuesday, as a Mohammad Amir short-pitched ball struck him on the helmet grille. Renshaw received treatment on the field before he carried on and scored 184 for his maiden test century.

While Australia can have a fielding substitute for Renshaw, there can be no replacement in the batting order, effectively putting the team a man down. Some have advocated changing that rule, to prevent teams keeping concussed players available.

"The more examples, the more experience we have with this, the more common it is, there will be pressure on the ICC to do something about a concussion sub," said Brukner. "Without a concussion sub there is a lot of pressure on the player, the coach and the doctor to allow the player to continue. So it would be helpful in that regard if we had a sub that would make it easier to pull players out with a concussion.

"We've introduced it in non-first class cricket in Australia and it seemed to be successful and I think it's something that needs to be looked at very seriously by the ICC."

There was better news for Australia with regard to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who missed almost all Thursday's play as he dealt with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

"We administered medication and after a night's rest he is feeling much better and will take part in play on Friday," Brukner said.

Play was delayed until after lunch on Friday, with Pakistan resuming at 271-8, needing another 68 runs to avoid the follow on.

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