Bajan cricketer recounts nasty blow suffered in today's away game
Barbados’ opening batsman Omar Phillips is counting his lucky stars.
He doesn’t have to wait for anyone to tell him that he is lucky to be alive.
Just eight days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck by a cricket ball, Phillips was knocked unconscious in a freak accident at the Arnos Vale cricket round in St Vincent earlier today.
The incident occurred while the 27 year-old was representing the Barbados Pride in their fourth round encounter against the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the WICB’s Professional Cricket League competition.
What made the accident all the scarier was the fact that Phillips, who was struck at the back of his head while standing at the non-strikers end from a shot by teammate Shai Hope, was hit just under the helmet – the same place where Hughes was struck.
He was rushed from the ground by emergency personnel in an unconscious state.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY in an exclusive interview from the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown last night after regaining consciousness, Phillips said the blow had him feeling worried initially, especially considering what had happened to Hughes.
“It had me disturbed and feeling kind of uneasy,” an evidently shaken Phillips explained.
“There isn’t much that I can remember about what happened. I just remember trying to get out of the way and then the ball hitting me.
“After that I woke up at the hospital,” he added.
Luckily though, Phillips said so far the CT scans hadn’t shown any damage to the area, and he was being kept under observation.
“When they did the scans they didn’t find anything irregular.
“They said they would do another check tomorrow morning, because I’m still on drips and what’s not, so once everything is good then, they will release me,” Phillips assured.
He said a decision as to whether he would play any further part in the match or if he would return to Barbados would be made when he was released.
Phillips knows his injuries could have been a lot worse and for that he is thankful to be alive.
“I’m happy. I mean I’m not really back to my normal self yet, but I am talking normal now . . . so I am happy.”
He said he had spoken to his mother, Joann Phillips to let her know he was feeling better.
When contacted an emotional Joann told Barbados TODAY “I don’t know what to say right now, because I have a headache thinking about it all the time.”
However, Barbados Pride coach Henderson Springer said the incident brought to mind not only the fatal death of Australian Hughes but also last week’s incident involving Israeli cricket umpire Hillel Oscar who died after being hit below the jaw by a ball by a batsman during a league match.
He therefore explained that immediately following today’s incident, Phillips was checked by team physio Jacqui King and “was quickly off to the hospital for testing and observation”.
“Tomorrow we will now have a look as well. But for now he is okay,” said Springer, who revealed that teammates had visited Phillips in hospital earlier tonight for about half an hour and he was in “good spirits”.
However, when asked whether he was well enough to continue on with the game, Springer told Barbados TODAY “it all depends on how he feels.
“I think you usually err on the side of caution with injuries to the head,” he added.
The Barbados Pride went on to finish the day on 230 for five, with Roston Chase unbeaten on 56 and captain Carlos Brathwaite on 25.