Ashes 2019: Justin Langer wants Steve Smith to wear neck guard after Jofra Archer bouncer
The guard was introduced after Phillip Hughes' demise back in 2014 during a Sheffield Shied match.
Updated - Nov 4, 2019 6:06 pm
Steve Smith scored 92 in Australia’s first innings before Chris Woakes caught him plumb in front as the former tried to leave the ball. It was Smith’s second stint in the middle at the Lord’s Cricket Ground as at the score of 80, he had to walk off the park. The right-hander was hit by a vicious bouncer from Jofra Archer after which the former had to undergo a concussion test.
Quite naturally, it was a worrying moment for the other cricketers, who gathered around him to check on his well-being. After getting hit, he lay on the ground even as the physios treated him. One man who was extremely worried by the incident was Justin Langer, the head coach of the Aussies. Langer didn’t enjoy the moment one bit and had his moments of concerns for Smith.
“You never like seeing your players get hit like that, no doubt about that. It was obviously some pretty rough memories of a blow like that, so there’s no fun in it,” Langer, who’s also a former Aussie cricketer, was quoted as saying in Times Now.
After the demise of Phillip Hughes in 2014 during a Sheffield Shield encounter, the additional stem guard neck protection was introduced. Smith was wearing a helmet without the guard and Langer feels that he wouldn’t be surprised if they are made mandatory in the future.
‘I’m sure after today it will get talked about again’
“It might be my error but I didn’t realise they weren’t mandatory until today. At the moment the players have a choice, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they become mandatory in the future,” the head coach added.
Langer was also clear cut in saying that Smith has to give wearing the neck guard a second thought after what happened on the fourth day at the Home of Cricket. Moreover, Langer shared a few of Smith’s idiosyncrasies, which are talked about.
“I think Steve wrote in his book he just doesn’t like or feel comfortable (with a stem guard). He’s got all these idiosyncrasies everyone’s talking about — he doesn’t like having shoelaces he can see, doesn’t like his shoes being dirty, so it’s the same, it just doesn’t feel right,” Langer remarked.
“I’m sure after today it will get talked about again, I know they came in after the tragedy of Hughesy. So, I’m sure it will get talked about, and he might rethink it now after seeing what happened today, but you would have to ask him that,” he added.