Ashes, the Drama and Injury

During the second test series of the Ashes being played between Australia and England, Jofra Archer, British fast bowler sent the Australian batsman, Steve Smith, collapsing face down after a bouncer hit him at a sickening speed on the side of his neck. Smith managed to walk off the field a little while later to have a proper concussion check done. This was done under the applause from the crowd. It was, however, upon return to the field that he got booed. Some sections within the British crowd wanted to send out a reminder about his 12-month ban due to ball-tampering.

ACA Speak Out against Verbal Abuse

The Australian Cricketer’s Association which acts as a representative body for the Australian cricketers, condemned the situation where an injured player is receiving abuse for a matter which was already dealt with. During a joint statement Alistair Nicholson, chief executive and Greg Dyer, president, also stated that not only does the sport of cricket deserve better behaviour, but especially so at Lord’s which many consider as the heart and home of cricket. They applauded Smith’s bravery and stated that his conduct should much rather be praised. Many other former stars on the Australian side also applauded the courage of Smith.

The consensus was that the correct protocol was followed to send the injured Smith off the field to be able to do proper checks to determine whether he has a concussion or not. In recent years the Australian cricket world already lost the former teammate of Smith at Sheffield Shield, based in Sydney, in 2014. Phillip Hughes got hit by a bouncer during a domestic game and died due to the injury. After Hughes’s unfortunate death, wearing a neck guard was introduced, but remained optional. During this recent incident, Smith was wearing a helmet, but no neck guard. The event might lead again to reconsidering the neck guard and maybe make it part of compulsory wear in the future.

Smith Missing Out on the Third Series

After Smith did return to the field, his performance was mostly unsteady. Now it was confirmed that the star performer on the Australian side would have to sit out for the third series. Thus far he has been delivering excellent performance with scoring two centuries during his three innings up to now. 144, 142 and 92 are what he managed to achieve before being hit by the bouncer.

Smith did pass the initial testing for a concussion, but then, later on, showed signs of a mild concussion and he was out of the rest of the match. Smith stated that he would be playing at Headingley if he was declared fit enough according to the set protocol to play. This is, unfortunately, not the case now. The Aussies will now have to face the English without their star player. Smith will be replaced by Marnus Labuschagne, who stands in as concussion substitute.

English Cricket Going Vegan

No more leather balls for the Early Cricket Club set in the town of Reading outside of London. This club is switching their leather balls to a more vegan-friendly option. Since they turned to a vegan-friendly menu two years ago, they are known as the vegan club in the cricket world. This new menu was accepted well by most, who fully understood the need to offer a list which allows all religions and dietary requirements to be able to join in.

Starting With Vegan Teas

The notion of turning vegan all began when the Gary Shacklady, the chairperson and founder of the club became vegan. He realized that almost all cricket club teas served ham sandwiches which he had to pass on with his newly founded dietary interest. The change was made to serve vegan beverages at the club.

Going the Full Distance

Keeping up with the vegan spirit, a new vegan-friendly ball was introduced to play. The animal-friendly option is manufactured of synthetic products, and it contains no parts stemming from animals. According to Shacklady, the ball’s most significant difference is that it is slightly harder to grip than the well-known leather version and it bounces more. The club still finds this ball a new replacement of the standard leather balls which the game is known for. They are, however, keen on finding an even better solution to fill the position.

Early Cricket Club

The club was founded only 12 years ago by Shacklady. Currently 33-years old, he is the youngest in the circles of cricket club chairpersons in entire England. Shacklady expressed his hopes that other clubs will soon follow in this notion with, especially within their league, the Berkshire Cricket League. Shacklady is a primary school teacher and said that when the new vegan menu was introduced about two years ago, it was accepted by the club members with little resistance. He is hoping that the new ball will be taken within the cricket world with the same ease as that the new menu was.

Currently, the club is serving meat-free spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne and Moroccan tagine instead of the usual beef and ham sandwiches. He also stated that when teams visit to play, they still enjoy the food and often stack plates up high. It is only seldom that someone would complain, but the reasoning behind the menu is to allow all to be able to eat. Except for his vegan background, Shacklady also felt the exclusivity of the meals when players of different religious backgrounds visited the club, which means that Hindu and Muslim players couldn’t join in on the feed. He is stating that the new menu allows for all to be able to eat.

The cricket club in Reading is nicknamed the vegan club, and it is, in fact, no surprise that they are the first to introduce a vegan option for the leather made balls used for so long in the history of cricket.