Melbourne Stars wicketkeeper Sam Harper is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering a severe head knock during a training session at the MCG nets.
Harper was hit in the head while batting in a nasty incident that left teammates who witnessed it ‘visibly shaken and emotional’, according to SEN’s Tom Morris, who broke the story.
“Concerning scenes at @StarsBBL training. Sam Harper was hit in the head while batting in the MCG nets,” Morris wrote on X.
“The good news is he’s breathing, in a stable condition and was conscious when he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
“Those who saw the incident were visibly shaken and emotional. Training was called off immediately… friends & teammates tonight just thankful he’s OK and in safe hands.”
ESPNCricinfo’s Alex Malcolm reported that Harper was hit on the chin by a short ball while playing a ‘cross-batted shot’, leading to a ‘severe’ cut near the throat.
Harper, who has kept wicket for the Stars throughout the BBL season after being traded from the Melbourne Renegades, has a concerning history of head knocks.
He was sidelined for several weeks in 2017 after South Australia’s Jake Lehmann accidentally struck him in the head with his bat.
Haper spent almost a month in a dark hospital room afterwards and initially needed a walking frame.
The Victorian keeper called it ‘the worst three weeks’ of his life.
A shocking collision with Hobart Hurricanes bowler Nathan Ellis during a match in early 2020 was reported at the time as being his eighth concussion, along with several while playing high school football.
The Stars confirmed the 27-year old had been sent to hospital in a statement on Friday night.
“Sam Harper was struck in the head whilst batting at training this evening at the MCG and subsequently taken to hospital in a stable condition,” the statement reads.
“We ask that you respect his privacy at this time. The club will provide further updates when they come to hand.”
Harper started the BBL season opening the batting for the Stars, but has shifted to as low as nine in the order with the team’s form improving.
He played in the Renegades’ stunning BBL08 final triumph over their crosstown rivals.
Harper will be withdrawn from the Stars’ line-up to take on the Sydney Sixers at the MCG on Saturday night. He is currently the only wicketkeeper in the team’s squad.
Sheffield Shield captain Peter Handscomb will be called up to don the gloves, with the 32-year old having not received a BBL contract for the 2023/24 season.