Australian umpire John Ward suffered a serious head injury after hitting a ball on Tuesday in the Ranji trophy match between Tamil Nadu vs Punjab at NPR College Ground, Dindigul.
According to Wisden India Report , when Punjab batsman Brainder Sran smashed a full delivery which was bowled by Tamil Nadu spinner DT Chandrasekar at the 48th overs, the ball was hit straight in Ward’s head after which the umpire failed in the ground. Immediately he was taken at the local medical centre before he was moved to Apollo Hospital in Madurai, which is about 40 km away from the venue.
While there were some news that Ward became unconscious after hitting the ball on his head, Dindigul District Cricket Association secretary N Venkataraman totally denied this. He said to ESPNcricinfo, “He wasn’t unconscious. After he got hit he fell to the ground, but he stood up and walked up to the ambulance by himself.”
Venkataraman told that Ward was completely normal and nothing serious in this injury. Venkataraman said, “He is completely normal. He has a tiny bulge behind the right ear which was identified in the scan. The medical observation, as per BCCI norms, has to be done in a big hospital, so we have shifted him to Apollo Hospitals in Madurai.”
He added, “There also we took scans. He is completely alright. Normally, in the event of a head injury, a patient is advised to be under observation for a day or two. He has been advised rest for a minimum of one day.”
Venkataraman said Ward would be replaced by Mohammad Raffik for remaining of the match. Mohammad Raffik is a Ranji Trophy panel umpire. He said, “While senior TNCA umpire Gururajan stood in after Ward’s injury, Raffik officiated today immediately on his arrival from Madurai.”
He also added, “BCCI had already posted Pankaj Pandit from Mumbai [as the umpire], but because of cancellation of flights from Mumbai, Rafikk will be continuing tomorrow.”
Ward has been umpiring in India as part of the umpires exchange programme between BCCI and Cricket Australia.
Before this incident, Ward got another injury at recent past when a ball was struck behind his ear by a straight drive from Mitchell Marsh in Adelaide Grade competition.