Sam Harper: Victoria wicketkeeper in hospital after being hit by a bat

Sam Harper
Sam Harper was standing up to the stumps to spinner Jon Holland when he was struck

Australian wicketkeeper Sam Harper was taken to hospital overnight after being struck on the head by a bat during a Sheffield Shield match.

The Victoria player, 20, needed medical treatment after he was caught by the follow-through of a shot from South Australia batsman Jake Lehmann.

Harper, who was wearing a helmet, later had a brain scan in hospital.

"Scans have not identified any bleeding or bone damage," a Cricket Victoria statement read.

"However, he will remain in hospital overnight for observation."

Harper will take no further part in the match at the Adelaide Oval, with Seb Gotch set to deputise as a substitute fielder.

In January, Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper Peter Nevill was ruled out of the Big Bash tournament after he suffered a burst blood vessel when he was hit by a flying bat during his side's win over Adelaide Strikers.

Cricket's concussion debate

Concussion in cricket, and the use of the bouncer, have been under increased scrutiny since November 2014 when Australia Test batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball while batting for South Australia during a Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales.

While manufacturers have added extra protection to the back of helmets following Hughes' death, Cricket Australia ruled that helmets should be compulsory for batsmen facing fast and medium-paced bowling. while the England and Wales Cricket Board made a similar ruling in 2015.

Cricket Australia has gone further by allowing "concussion substitutes" in its domestic limited-overs tournaments - replacements who are able to bat and bowl in place of the concussed player, rather than just field.

However, the rule does not apply to the Sheffield Shield as it would require the International Cricket Council to alter the playing conditions for first-class cricket, because a match would lose first-class status if a substitute were permitted to bat or bowl.

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