India spinner Pragyan Ojha has been rushed to hospital after suffering a freak head injury while fielding in a domestic match.
Ojha was fielding at mid-on for India Green in the Duleep Trophy first-class tournament, being played for the first-time with the pink ball and under lights. Ojha had been in textbook position to field a ball hit along the ground by Pankaj Singh, but an uneven surface at the edge of the centre square saw the ball shoot up in front of the fielder.
A slow-motion video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India showed a puff of dust as the ball leapt up, and Ojha turned his head away. He was struck on the left side of the head and crumpled to the ground. He was taken from the field on a stretcher and transported to a nearby hospital for tests, the BCCI said. He was reportedly alongside India Green coach WV Raman.
There were conflicting reports from local media about the player’s condition but no official update was available. Ojha had just completed his 17th over of India Blue’s second innings, in which he took his third wicket, when he was struck.
He had figures of 3-90 in the match at Greater Noida, and had celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday. Ojha has represented India in all three formats of international cricket, playing 24 Test matches the last of which was Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test in late 2013.
Duleep Trophy final between India Red and India Blue is to be played starting Saturday. The BCCI announced several changes to the teams after consulting with the Indian team management to best prepare for the forthcoming season where the country will host 13 Tests against New Zealand, England, Australia and Bangladesh.