Euro 2020 Special

Overhead Camera Strikes South African Fielder

South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje was struck by an overhead camera whilst fielding in the Second Test against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne.

Although bruised, his injuries could potentially have been much worse. He is not the only casualty in a match that has seen more than its fair share of injuries already.



Test match broadcasters in Australia use a cable suspended camera system which hovers above the playing surface during a match giving a different perspective to viewers at home. Manually operated, it moves both vertically and horizontally.


What happened

Nortje was fielding at the time, and was moving in the field at the end of a South African over, when he was hit from behind by the camera, which had got too close to the action. He was knocked to the ground by the impact, with the Spidercam hitting him at some velocity, but got to his feet immediately afterwards, and despite feeling some stiffness in his left shoulder and elbow which took the brunt of the blow, was able to keep bowling.

When he did leave the field for treatment, it was because he was suffering from cramp.

Nevertheless, he got off comparatively lightly, and the injury could potentially have been a lot worse.

The operator of the camera system blamed human error for the fact that it had been allowed to swoop so low, and it was not used for the rest of the day, although it was back in action again the following morning.

There are now questions being asked about minimum distances that it should operate above the ground, with Nortje himself feeling that it should definitely not be allowed to travel at head height. Others have suggested that the technology should just be restricted for the filming of interviews.


Warner injured celebrating

Nortje was not the only one to have suffered a bizarre injury during the match.

Australian opener David Warner, who is playing in his 100th test, came into the match with his place in the team under question after recent poor form, and also having withdrawn his appeal against the lifetime ban on the captaincy was withdrawn.

However, he responded by scoring a hundred, and then continued, bringing up his double ton.

In the process, he became only the second batter after Joe Root had managed it against India last year, to score a double century in their 100th test appearance for their country.

On reaching the landmark, Warner sank to his knees and pumped his fists in delight.

However, his celebrations were cut short, as he launched a trademark jump in the air to commemorate his feat, only to land badly, and injure himself. He immediately clutched his thighs and signalled for medical attention, and was unable to continue. Warner was helped from the field as the crowd continued to cheer him.

He returned to bat the following day, but was unable to add to his score, fittingly perhaps, bowled by Nortje.


Other injuries

The medical room at the MCG has resembled a casualty clearing station at times.

Cameron Green, who attracted the second highest fee in the Indian T20 league auction last week, suffered a small fracture to his right index finger, whilst facing a ball from Nortje (again!) and will not bowl again in this match. He has been ruled out of the Sydney Test, and the Big Bash League, where he was due to play for the Perth Scorchers.

Australia are hoping he will be fit again in time for their much anticipated test series against India in the New Year.

Meanwhile, fellow Australian bowler Mitchell Starc is also a doubt for the Sydney Test after dislocating the tip of the middle finger on his left-hand, the one with which he bowls, whilst fielding.

On the South African side, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi also spent time off the field with cramp.


The state of the match

Australia were in sight of a series win at the end of the third day, with South Africa 15/1 in their second innings, still trailing the home side by 371 runs. A win will further strengthen Australia’s grip on their place in the WTC (World Test Championship) Final, and is potentially good news for India as well, as the South Africans are their nearest challengers to claim the other spot.




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