Steve Smith's debut innings for Sussex halts game due to illegal helmet in ongoing County Championship

Steve Smith and Cheteshwar Pujara are playing together for Sussex.

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Pujara and Steve Smith
Pujara and Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Star Australia batter Steve Smith made his debut in County Cricket on Friday, May 05 for Sussex against Worcestershire at New Road. Smith walked into bat with Sussex reeling at 67/3 on Day 2, and joined captain Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. However, after just eight balls, his innings was interrupted as umpires Chris Watts and Peter Hartley, stopped play, and informed Smith that his helmet did not meet the standards mandated by the ECC for the County Championship.

As per Appendix A2.3 of the County Championship Playing Conditions, “A protective helmet is headwear made of hard material and designed to protect the head, neck and/or the face. For the purposes of interpreting these Laws of Cricket, such a description will include faceguards, grilles and neck guards.”

Smith’s helmet did not have a neck protector, and play was put on hold until one was fitted into his helmet, to meet the prescribed requirements as reported by Wisden. Following the adjustment, the 33-year-old continued his innings and added crucial 61 runs for the fourth wicket with Pujara to bail his team out of trouble after three early strikes. 

Smith ended up scoring 30 off 57 balls with the help of five boundaries before getting dismissed by Josh Tongue who trapped him in front of the stumps during the first session on Day 2.

Following his dismissal, Pujara continued his innings and scored a half-century and got involved in another fifty-plus stand with Oli Carter to take his team’s total past 200 with five wickets down.

Worcestershire scored 264 in the first innings

Earlier during the game, Sussex captain Cheteshwar Pujara won the toss and invited Worcestershire to bat first on Day 1. The Brett D'Oliveira-led side got off to a forgettable start losing their first wicket in the very first over itself with Ollie Robinson getting rid of Ed Pollock.

Worcestershire could only manage to score 264 runs in the first innings as Ollie Robinson wreaked havoc with the ball and claimed 7/59 in his 17-over spell.

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