‘I don’t really remember what happened after I got struck’, says Omar Phillips

"I was kind of scared because you never know with a head injury how serious it could be"

“I was kind of scared because you never know with a head injury how serious it could be”

Image courtesy of: West Indies Cricket Board

Barbados batsman Omar Phillips has revealed that he doesn’t “really remember what happened” after he was struck on the back of the head during a first-class match against Windward Islands.

Phillips, who was at the non-strikers end at the time of the accident, was rushed to hospital after number three batsman Shai Hope hit a shot that ended up striking him at the back of the head.

Even though he was wearing a helmet, Phillips became unconscious and was taken to Milton Kato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown in St Vincent for a CT scan.

However, Phillips was cleared of any serious injury and he responded to that by saying “thank God”.

“It has been a difficult situation for me in terms of having a seen a cricketer die of a similar injury.” Phillips told ESPNcricinfo. “So that had kind of bothered me at first.

“I don’t really remember what happened after I got struck. All I remember was waking up at the hospital. At that time I kept thinking about the whole Phil Hughes stuff. And I was kind of scared because you never know with a head injury how serious it could be.”

Phillips also thanked Barbados physiotherapist Jacqui King for being with him during the entire ordeal.

“She kept me in the moment. She [stayed] by my side,” he said. “She kept telling me: ‘it’s going to be all right. Gonna be all right’. She actually got me through it because if I was on my own I probably would have panicked.”

Phillips also noted that his family were extremely worried after hearing what had happened.

“It was a difficult time for my family,” he said. “A lot of people were calling the house. They had also seen the Phil Hughes situation, so my family was trying to call me but they could not get through me because I did not have my phone with me while the scans were being done.”

When asked about how he ended up being hit on the back of the head, Phillips said: “It was a lofted shot towards the on side. Hope was looking to go over long-on and so he chipped on to the spinner. But he didn’t elevate it enough. It had a lot of power. It was well struck. I was trying to get my right hand in the way, but it came in so quickly. Also having got struck on my hand in the previous game I tried to avoid getting hit again. The ball was heading for the helmet, but I turned my face to my left at the last moment.”

Once the doctors allowed him to leave, Phillips went straight to the ground to tell everyone that he was fine. He then went to the airport and boarded a flight back home to Barbados.

Phillips revealed that Hope, who is only 21, continuously apologised about the incident.

“He kept telling me ‘sorry’ all the time,” Phillips said. “I told him he did nothing wrong. It is all part of the game. He was still a little nervous. The team did not know I had been cleared on Friday evening but they only came to know next morning. So they thought I was serious.”

Phillips’ family were relieved to hear that he was cleared of any serious injury and would be coming home.

“The words were still not clear but she was full of joy to hear me,” Phillips said. “My family was relieved to see me in person and that I was okay.”

Since he was diagnosed with a concussion and gets stabbing pains accompanied by dizziness at times, Phillips will be out of action for the next couple of weeks.

“As I said it is not the first time I have been struck,” he said. “It won’t be too hard to come back because I have done that earlier. You know the risk you are up against when you take the role to play as a cricketer or even as a sportsman. It is just a matter for me now to get back in the nets and get my mental game right.”

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