Paul Reiffel, who was officiating as the on-field umpire in the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, was advised rest and subsequently ruled out of the match after suffering a concussion on Thursday, the opening day. An International Cricket Council statement confirmed on Friday (December 9) that Marais Erasmus would replace him.
“Paul Reiffel underwent precautionary tests yesterday, which came back all clear. Paul, however, has been advised to rest, which is the normal course prescribed following a concussion,” the statement read. “As such, he will not take any further part in the Mumbai Test and has been replaced by Marais Erasmus.”
Reiffel was taken to the hospital after being struck on the back of his head by a Bhuvneshwar Kumar throw during the first day’s play. The freak incident took place during the 49th over of England’s innings in the post-lunch session when Bhuvneshwar, fielding at deep square leg, casually flung the ball with the batsmen having already completed a single.
The ball struck an unsuspecting Reiffel, stationed at the square-leg for the over. The 50-year-old former Australian seamer received a late warning call from Cheteshwar Pujara – whom the throw was intended to reach – and instantly fell to the ground clutching the sensitive part at the base of his skull.
After a 10-minute delay during which the umpire received treatment from the England medical staff, the Australian umpire walked off the field with Erasmus taking his place. He was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital for further tests. Umpire C Shamshuddin, incidentally at the venue, moved in to the vacated third umpire’s seat.