Zimbabwe’s debutant opener Kevin Kasuza has suffered a delayed concussion after sustaining a blow to the helmet at short leg on day three of the first Test in Harare. Although Kasuza had been cleared of concussion via scans on Tuesday, Zimbabwe’s team doctor has confirmed that concussion has set in on Wednesday
The hosts have now named a like-for-like concussion substitute under the ICC’s new rules, bringing in 24-year old opener Brian Mudzinganyama into the XI. Mudzinganyama has impressed in recent domestic matches, hitting 127 for Rangers in late December. The substitution means he will now be make a Test debut.
Kasuza, who made 63 in the first innings, had not immediately felt the effects of the blow, when a full-blooded Kusal Mendis pull caught him flush on the helmet in the first session of day three. After a few seconds, however, he took his helmet off, and suddenly appeared groggy. He was able to continue standing, partly with the support of his teammates, and after the Zimbabwe team doctor came out to assess him, he left the field before another ball was bowled. Despite being cleared of an immediate concussion by scans, Kasuza did not return to the field of play .
The recently introduced concussion substitution protocols dictate that the team’s medical representative – usually the physio – must run standardised tests and submit a report to the match referee. On this occasion, match referee Javagal Srinath has accepted that Kasuza is suffering from concussion. It seems likely that Kasuza will be unavailable for the second Test as well, which starts on Monday.