Steve Smith was hit on the side of the helmet by a pacy 93 mph delivery from Jofra Archer. (Image credit: Getty Images)
The fourth day of the Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord's witnessed an enthralling contest between Jofra Archer and Steve Smith. Archer was bowling in excess of 90 mph while Smith overcame the conditions and scored a brilliant fifty to put steady Australia. However, on 75, Smith was hit by a ferocious bouncer by Archer and he immediately fell down. There were genuine concerns from both the Australia and England camps but there were some booes from a section of the Lord's crowd after he was hit.
Taking note of the behavior, the Australian Cricket Union has criticised the behavior of the Lord's crowd and said it was time to say 'enough'.
"Cricket deserves much better than that. And Lord's, the home of cricket, deserves much better than that also. What we witnessed was bravery from an outstanding young man. It should be commended not vilified. Over the English summer, generally the crowds have been terrific and really added to the contest. But when someone is hurt, yet the boos continue, it's time to call 'enough'," president Greg Dyer and chief executive Alistair Nicholson said in a joint statement.
While angry at Smith's treatment by some fans, the ACA applauded the decision by medics to insist the 30-year-old leave the field for concussion checks, a protocol pushed by Australia following the death of Phillip Hughes in 2014. Hughes, a former team-mate of Smith's, died after being hit by a bouncer in a domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney.
"The events at Lord's show the importance of the concussion protocols which have been developed in Australia over the last few years," it said. "Administrators in Australia working with the ACA and now the ICC have done a good job in putting the protocols in place. Plainly, they are necessary to protect the players who are struck. Let's remind ourselves -- this is a workplace for these players," it added. "The reality is that cricket can be a dangerous sport, especially when the bowling is as ferocious as it has been in this series. To see the protocols practised at Lord's overnight was important and correct," the ACA said.