Balbirnie scored his eighth ODI century and was on 121 when a low full toss from Brad Evans deflected off the bat on his helmet. A stretcher was brought in but he managed to walk off the field and Ireland did not use the concussion option.
Cricket Ireland head of physiotherapy and medical services, Mark Rousa, said: “Andrew Balbirnie sustained a suspected mild concussion following a hit on the helmet while batting against Zimbabwe yesterday.” “He was injured at retirement and did not field in the second innings per concussion protocol. He was re-evaluated this morning, but has been ruled out of the remaining two games of this series as a precaution.”
“It’s very disappointing to lose our captain like that, especially after his fantastic century in his 200th game for Ireland,” Ireland selector Andrew White said. We all hope his recovery is speedy and he’ll be back at the park soon.
“With Andrew pulling out, we have called up Murray Cummins. Murray is a talented top-order batsman who we see as a direct replacement – we know he has the stroke play, technique and mentality to score big and he is left-handed. Will add a new dimension to the top order. It’s also an opportunity to showcase Murray on the international stage with the volume of cricket at the fore.”
After losing the T20I series 1–2, Ireland lost the first ODI – a rain-interrupted contest – by three wickets in the final delivery. The second and third ODIs will be held at Harare Sports Club on January 21 and 23.