Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s opening batsman, was stretchered off the field after being hit on the back of his neck by a bouncer on day 2 of the 2nd Test between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Karunaratne, who was batting well on 46 at the time, was struck in the neck when he ducked into a short ball by Australian pacie Pat Cummins. The ball didn’t bounce as much as he expected and seemed to graze his shoulder before crashing into the area just under the helmet. It was unclear if the ball hit him directly on his neck or on the extra protective guard attached to his helmet. The crowd and players were stunned into silence, as Karunaratne went down immediately after being hit, dropping his bat and falling on to his back. The Australian players were quick to check on the left hander as he lay on the floor, before both teams’ physios got on the field to attend to him.
The medical staff on hand then had his neck strapped and drove him off the field on a stretcher before transferring him into an ambulance to be driven to hospital.
Despite being clearly and expectedly shaken up, Karunaratne was conscious during the entire episode and was seen speaking to those attending to him.
Cricket Australia later said: “Dimuth complained of pain in neck and tingling to his hands following being struck in the back of the neck, decision then made to transport him to hospital where he is currently being assessed. Updates will be provided when more is known.”
Reports from Australia suggest that the Team Manager and Karunaratne’s own father and sister are with him at the Canberra Hospital where he is expected to undergo tests to determine his condition.