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While umpiring in the night cricket game between GI Tucabia Copmanhurst and South Services Hackett was struck between the shoulder blades by a throw from a fielder.
"In my head it sounded like a .303 going off," the wounded umpire said.
"It was a fast, flat throw from a fielder while I was standing at square leg that hit me flat between the shoulder blades and down I went.
"As I went down I remember one of the players calling out 'I wonder if he called dead ball'."
But the levity soon evaporated when the veteran umpire of 13 seasons reported feeling tingling in his spine and numbness in his legs.
Fellow umpire Dave Whitby halted play while an ambulance was called to take his colleague to Grafton Base Hospital.
"I was up there for five hours where they x-rayed me and checked me out," Hackett said.
"I was a bit tender when they sent me home. Lucky it all turned out for the best.
" Despite the scare, Hackett is adamant he will not be "gun shy" when taking up his umpiring position today.
"When you reach the level umpires like me and Bruce Baxter reach, they drill it into you to get into the best position when a run out is happening.
"That's pretty much being on the same side of the stumps the throw is coming from."