NSW Blues batsman Ed Cowan has retired hurt after copping a blow to the helmet in their Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in New Zealand.
Under Cricket Australia's concussion guidelines, Cowan will be observed for the next 24 hours and will take no further part in the match.
Late on Friday’s third day, Cowan was unbeaten on two when he was struck by a nasty short ball from left-armer Joel Paris.
The ball reared up and struck Cowan on the badge of his helmet, and the left-hander fell backwards onto the turf before gradually regaining his feet.
Western Australia's players, led by Paris, immediately rushed in to check on Cowan's welfare. The batsman accepted their concerns as he removed his helmet and walked away towards square leg to compose himself.
Ed's okay. Nasty bump on forehead, bit concussed. Thanks again for all the msgs, sorry I can't get back to everyone individually.
— Virginia Lette (@virginia03) February 5, 2016
Clearly rattled, Cowan spent a few moments in the crouch position as he was assessed by Blues medical staff, including Dr John Orchard.
After around three minutes in the hands of the medical team, Cowan walked off the field and was replaced by nightwatchman Nathan Lyon.
"It was pretty nasty," Lyon said after play. "The medical staff will look after him and survey him overnight and hopefully he's all good to go tomorrow."
Just a few minutes after the incident, both teams walked off the ground due to bad light with the Blues 1-11 in their second innings.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson offered this statement after play.
"Ed suffered a hit to the front of his helmet during his batting innings. As per the Cricket Australia concussion guidelines he was assessed on the spot by the Cricket NSW doctor and retired from the game hurt.
"Advice from the doctor is that Ed's health is in a reasonable state but per the Cricket Australia concussion guidelines, he will be observed for the next 24 hours as a precautionary measure and not take further part in the match."