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Former England pace bowler David Lawrence has announced that he is worried about whether New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott will ever play cricket again.
Lawrence’s concerns come after Abbott bowled the bouncer that struck Australia batsman Phillip Hughes on the neck and subsequently led to him passing away at the age of 25.
Lawrence found himself in similar position to Abbott when he bowled a ball that struck West Indies batsman Phil Simmons on the head during a tour match in 1988.
Simmons was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency brain surgery, but he made a full recovery.
“He collapsed. They rushed him to hospital, and were able to save his life and take a blood clot off his brain – and he subsequently went on to play again,” Lawrence told BBC World News. “What gave me comfort was I was able to see Phil Simmons 48 hours after, and he was able to tell me it wasn’t my fault.
“The bowler in this instance wouldn’t have been able to do that. Hughes didn’t make a recovery, he wasn’t able to talk to him.
“So my thoughts go out to him as well because whether he will come back from this or not, personally I don’t think he’ll play cricket again.”
Despite his comments, Lawrence stated that he doesn’t want short-pitched bowling to become a thing of the past.
“I don’t think any fast bowler walks out there, looking to inflict danger on someone, or for them to end up in hospital, and lose their life,” he said. “It’s a part of the game. You use it to ‘rough up’ a batsman, make him feel unsettled, and then you look possibly to pitch the ball up. I wouldn’t like to see that taken away from the game.”