Mother’s pride sees Hashmatullah bat on after bouncer blow

Updated June 20, 2019

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HASHMATULLAH Shahidi falls to the ground after being hit on the helmet by a Mark Wood bouncer at Old Trafford on Tuesday.—AFP
HASHMATULLAH Shahidi falls to the ground after being hit on the helmet by a Mark Wood bouncer at Old Trafford on Tuesday.—AFP

MANCHESTER: Afghan­istan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi said his desire not to worry his mother was the main reason he got back up after being felled by a Mark Wood bouncer in the World Cup match against England on Tuesday.

Hashmatullah had made 24 when he took his eye off a 90 mph delivery from the fast bowler that thudded into the side of his helmet and saw him hit the turf immediately after the sickening impact.

It seemed the 24-year-old was about to retire but, donning a new helmet, Shahidi carried on to top-score for Afghanistan with 76 in an otherwise lopsided 150-run loss.

“I got up early because of my mum,” Shahidi told reporters after Afghanistan’s fifth defeat in as many matches this tournament.

“I lost my father last year so I didn’t want her to hurt. My whole family was watching, even my big brother was here in the ground watching. I didn’t want them to be worried for me,” added Hashmatullah, with the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, also in attendance at Old Trafford.

But the fact he was allowed to ignore medical advice is bound to raise questions about how the International Cricket Council are dealing with head injuries at this World Cup.

“The ICC doctors came to me, and our physios, and my helmet was broken in the middle,” Hashmatullah recalled. “They just told me just, ‘let’s go’. I told them I can’t leave my team-mate at that moment. My team needed me. I carried on.

“After the match I went to the ICC doctor and talked to them. They took care of me and said it will be fine, Insha’Allah.”

Afghanistan team official, Naveed Sayeh, confirmed Hashmatullah had acted against advice in batting on.

“The doctors told him, ‘please come off’ and to leave the ground. He told them, ‘no, I’m now OK so I’ll continue my batting’,” Sayeh said.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2019