Ben Stokes, an all-rounder for England, has criticized the “stupid” size of boundary marking sponges used in stadiums after seamer Reece Topley was forced to withdraw from the Twenty20 World Cup after tripping on one during a fielding exercise and suffering a leg injury.
Prior to a warm-up match against Pakistan, Topley, who has 22 wickets in as many T20 games, suffered a ligament injury to his left ankle. For the tournament in Australia, fellow fast bowler Tymal Mills took Topley’s position.
Ben Stokes Wants Administrators To Focus On Player Safety
The triangular sponges, which are around 20 cm in height and width, have proliferated in cricket stadiums all over the world and provide advertising space, but Ben Stokes said the sport’s administrators should also focus on player safety.
“It’s stupid. Unfortunately, it’s taken one of our players to be ruled out … to make people notice,” Ben Stokes said. “I’m pretty sure it’s something they can look at but you know what it’s like – everybody wants to get their names on somewhere.
“But you look at player safety and the fact he’s stood on it and it’s ruptured ligaments and now he’s out of the World Cup – it should be looked at. I’m devastated for him.
“We’re all just absolutely gutted for him that he’s missed out … because he would have been one of the first names on the team sheet.”
I Don’t Think It Is A Big Issue: Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler, the captain of England, downplayed the problem, claiming it was an accident.
“I don’t think it is a big issue,” Buttler said. “People used to play in the past with no boundary rope and used to run into a fence.”
An inquiry for comment from Reuters was not immediately answered by the International Cricket Council.
Later, on Saturday in Perth, England, the 2010 T20 World Cup champions, will play their season opener against Afghanistan.
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