Zampa keeps head to affect run out

Adam Zampa, Peter Nevill and Marcus Stoinis recount the incredible run out that has the cricket world scratching its head, so to speak

Isabelle Westbury

10 January 2016, 12:37 AM AEST

'You'll never see that again'

As cricketers from both sides, including the unlucky batsman Peter Nevill himself, rushed to Adam Zampa’s side to make sure the bowler was okay following a nasty blow to the head, one cricketer was in no such rush.

"I realised what had happened," said Zampa. "As soon as it hit me I said it’s out, but it (his nose) was pretty sore!"

The Melbourne Stars leg-spinner Zampa, already on the receiving end of two mighty Chris Gayle maximums, had bowled a loopy delivery to another equally imposing West Indian, Dwayne Bravo, who was yet to score. Bravo, who went on to post an unbeaten 59, drove the ball firmly back down the ground. What happened next was extraordinary.

"I was in the process of trying to get my bat back into the crease," said Nevill. "I obviously didn’t intend to touch the ball but it’s freakish to come off at that angle and hit his (Zampa’s) face, and then to come off and hit the stumps.

"You don’t see that happen often." 

WATCH: Highlights of the Stars eight-wicket win over the Renegades

When a batsman is run-out backing up at the non-striker's end off the bowler’s hand, it’s considered one of the unluckiest ways to go.  When the batsman is run-out off a bowler’s nose however, you start to wonder how many mirrors they’ve broken of late.

Nevill, Australia’s Test wicketkeeper making his first appearance for the Renegades in the absence of Matthew Wade, called up to Australia’s ODI squad, was no doubt keen to show what he could do with the bat in the shorter form of the game. The cricketing gods however, hadn’t got the memo.

"It’s probably why I’m not very good at pool," explained Nevill in admitting his lack of understanding at the angles involved.

"My primary concern was Zamps," said Nevill. "As soon as I’d seen what happened. And the sound was pretty sickening as well. I actually hadn’t realised it hit the stumps. I was more concerned at how he was doing but thankfully he’s alright."

Nevill, after ensuring that Zampa was back up and running, looked, on television at least, as though he knew exactly what was coming as he walked swiftly off the pitch.

"No I didn’t!" insisted Nevill. "Jeff Joshua (the umpire) had to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘By the way mate, you’re out.’"

"I honestly can’t remember," said Nevill. "I mean I was fretting a bit – it made a very bad sound when it hit him in the face and I wasn’t sure exactly where it had hit him." 

Marcus Stoinis, fielding in the deep, heard the crunch.

"It sounded bad," said Stoinis. "I was at long-on and it sounded bad. I didn’t know it was out because it happened so quickly, but yeah he’s alright.

"It was a bit disgusting to be honest!"

"He wasn’t celebrating too much," added Nevill. "I’ve never seen anything like it before.

"I’m going to have to take Zamps out for dinner and buy him some soup or something."

Zampa, however, might be the one picking up the tab.

"I can’t remember what he (Nevill) said," said Zampa. "But I think I need to say sorry because he was being sympathetic and I just brushed him off!"

"I’ve never seen anyone hit in the nose and then get a run out. But it goes down as a run out, right?

"It was an important wicket."

An important wicket certainly but this isn’t the first headed dismissal in Australian cricket this summer.

Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning has been in imperious form during the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, topping the runs ladder with 489 from ten innings. It’s left many wondering how to dismiss the Melbourne Stars skipper. During the WNCL match against Lanning’s VicSpirit earlier in the season, the New South Wales Lendlease Breakers found a way – off 'keeper Alyssa Healy’s head.

A thin Lanning edge had zipped through to a helmet-less Healy standing up to the stumps and smacked her square on the head. The looping ricochet was caught neatly by point running forwards. Lanning was dismissed and Healy had a new nickname, ‘egg-head’, in honour of the tennis-ball sized bump protruding from her forehead. 

WATCH: Healy's header dismisses Lanning

Both Zampa and Healy’s heads proved integral to their respective wickets. Both however bring timely reminders of the dangers a cricket ball can bring.

Tonight’s incident was just one of a number of near misses at the Docklands Stadium. Earlier in the day the Melbourne Renegade’s Danielle Wyatt made a trip to hospital for a scan on a suspected broken arm after she was struck at the non-striker's end. In the men’s game the umpire was left diving for cover when a Kevin Pietersen missile came right back at him.

Already one umpire has resorted to wearing a helmet after concerns that the ball is being struck harder and harder.

"There’s a lot of guys in this tournament that hit the ball very, very hard," said Nevill.

"It’s a freakish thing – it won’t happen very often but I suppose now and again.

"I always wear a helmet behind the stumps because you might just get a deflection off the pad or anything like that and get hit in the face and it could do a lot of damage as we’ve seen tonight."

Zampa, luckily, walks away unscathed for the most part, except perhaps for a bruised ego. Tonight’s incident however is a timely reminder of how close the line is between lucky escape and full-blown tragedy. 

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