Sam Harper hospitalised after copping nasty blow to head in training

Melbourne Stars' wicketkeeper Sam Harper copped a nasty blow on his head while training ahead of the BBL clash against Sydney Sixers.

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Sam Harper.
Sam Harper. (Photo Source: Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Melbourne Stars have suffered an injury scare as their wicketkeeper-batter Sam Harper was hit on his head while he was batting in the nets on Friday, January 5.

The incident happened at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the Melbourne players were training ahead of their clash against Sydney Sixers on Saturday, January 6, in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL). While attempting a cross-batted shot, the 27-year-old copped a blow on his chin, as the ball thudded under the grill of his helmet. Harper suffered a cut near his throat due to the impact.

An ambulance was called for. Thankfully, Harper was conscious and stable while he was being taken to the hospital. It is understood that the Wantirna-born could be kept in the hospital overnight, under supervision of the medical experts. Scans will also be conducted to get a better idea about the extent of Harper's injury.

For the unversed, Harper has had a history of concussions. Back in 2017, he got hit by the bat of Jake Lehmann while keeping up to the stumps in a Sheffield Shield encounter between the Victoria Bushrangers (now Victoria) and South Australia. Three years later, Harper suffered another serious concussion when he collided with Hobart Hurricanes bowler Nathan Ellis in a BBL encounter.

Peter Handscomb likely to get call-up after Harper's injury

The Stars are without a wicketkeeping option in the absence of Harper. He is going to miss Saturday's clash against the Sixers. Peter Handscomb, who is a former Stars player and Victoria limited-overs captain, is likely to be drafted in as cover for Harper.

Handscomb, who didn't get a BBL contract, was in line to play grade cricket on Saturday for his club side St Kilda. However, he would have to let that opportunity slide if he gets a last-minute BBL call-up. The right-handed batter has also been named as the captain of Cricket Australia XI that is set to play a three-day warm-up encounter against West Indies in Adelaide starting on Tuesday.

Handscomb represented the Stars in 51 BBL matches between 2012 and 2020, after spending a couple of seasons for the Hurricanes. Last season, the experienced campaign played three matches for the Melbourne Renegades after being drafted in as a replacement player, having not been contracted.

The Stars are currently placed in the fourth position on the points table, having bagged eight points from seven games.

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