Ben Lister becomes first player to become COVID-19 substitute


The rules have changed in cricket and safe to say this is the new normal. Auckland bowler Ben Lister became the first-ever player who was used as a COVID-19 substitute.

Ben Lister
The Plunket Shield, which is New Zealand’s domestic tournament is underway and for the first time since the invention of the rule in this pandemic, it was used during the game between Auckland and Otago.

Auckland medium pacer Ben Lister was used to replace left-handed batsman Mark Chapman. The batsman was reported that he was sick on Monday and also undertook a Covid-19 test, with Lister being named as replacement at least until the result of the test comes out.

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The match commenced a day later as compared to the other Plunket Shield games going on. As a result, Chapman’s replacement could be announced before the toss instead of in the middle of the match.  So Auckland announced Lister as his COVID-19 substitute.

Lister picked up one wicket in the first innings as Otago were bowled out for just 186 in 53.5 overs. This rule was announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June, which means since the start of the pandemic. These rules are applicable for both international and domestic tournaments.