Australia batter Steve Smith’s debut in County Cricket for Sussex saw a minor hiccup after just eight balls, as he was interrupted by on-field umpires Chris Watts and Peter Hartley for his illegal helmet. The play was stopped for around 10 minutes as the umpires informed Smith that his helmet did not meet the standards mandated by the ECC for the County Championship
Playing against Worcestershire at New Road. Smith walked into bat with Sussex struggling at 67/3 on Day 2 and joined captain Cheteshwar Pujara. However, Smith’s helmet was without a neck protector, and hence play was halted until the Aussie batter had the right one into his helmet which met the requirements.
As per Appendix A2.3 of the County Championship Playing Conditions, the rule regarding this issue states, “A protective helmet is headwear made of hard material and designed to protect the head, neck and/or the face. For the purposes of interpreting these Laws of Cricket, such a description will include faceguards, grilles and neck guards.”
After the umpire’s approval, Smith managed to put up a score of 30 in 57 balls with five boundaries before Josh Tongue dismissed him leg before wicket. While batting with Pujara, Smudge added 61 runs for the fourth wicket.
After Smith’s dismissal, Pujara continued his incredible run of form for Sussex as put on his third century of the season after finishing at a score of 136 in 189 balls with 19 fours and one six. Other than Smith and Pujara, FJ Hudson-Prentice, Ollie Robinson and Ali Orr added crucial runs taking the Sussex total to 373.