BBL – Melbourne Stars’ Sam Harper hospitalised after blow to the head

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Melbourne Stars wicketkeeper Sam Harper was taken to hospital via ambulance after a nasty blow to the head at training but is conscious and stable.

Harper was training with the Stars squad at the MCG on Friday ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sydney Sixers when he was struck in the head while batting in the nets.

While attempting to play a cross-bat shot he was hit on the chin with the ball lodging under the grill of his helmet, causing a severe cut near his throat. Harper was immediately attended to by the Stars medical team to control the bleeding.

An ambulance was called but he was conscious, breathing and stable when he was eventually taken to hospital for further treatment. He is likely to remain there overnight and undergo several scans.

The training session was immediately called off. Harper’s situation will be treated with caution given his history of concussions. He suffered a heavy concussion in the BBL in January 2020 when he collided with Hobart Hurricanes bowler Nathan Ellis and had to be taken to hospital. He was also hospitalised with concussion in 2017 when he was hit by a bat while keeping during a Sheffield Shield game.

Harper will be unable to play tomorrow night and Stars do not have a back-up wicketkeeper on their list. Former Stars player and Victoria limited-overs captain Peter Handscomb is likely to be drafted in at short notice as he does not have a BBL contract and was set to play grade cricket in Melbourne tomorrow for his club side St Kilda. He has also been named captain of the Cricket Australia XI that is set to play a three-day game against West Indies in Adelaide starting on Tuesday.

Handscomb has kept for Australia in T20 international cricket. He played 51 BBL matches for Stars between 2012 and 2020 before playing two seasons at Hobart Hurricanes. He played three games for Melbourne Renegades last season as a replacement player, having not been contracted.


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