ICC considering ‘COVID-19 substitutes’ for Test matches
In red ball cricket, the ‘Concussion Substitute’ rule has already been introduced. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne made history by becoming the first concussion Sub.
In the day-night Test against India in Eden, two Bangladeshi spin all-rounders Mehidy Hasan Miraz and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam were substituted in one day. The International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of world cricket, is considering launching a ‘COVID-19 substitute’ in a changed situation due to the coronavirus.
If a cricketer suffers from coronavirus during a Test match, he is being considered for a replacement. Steve Elworthy, director of special projects for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), told Sky Sports:
“COVID replacements are certainly something that the ICC are discussing. I’ve seen communication about that and it’s certainly something we hope would be allowed — specifically for Test matches, not necessarily ODIs (one-day internationals) or T20s (Twenty20).
“That replacement would have to be a ‘like for like’ player… Our on-site COVID medical practitioner and Public Health England would be informed immediately and that player would then be put into isolation for a period of time.”
England are set to take part in a three-match Test series against the West Indies next month. The Caribbeans are bringing in 11 more cricketers with a squad of 14. They will all practice together, also stay in quarantine. Even under the ICC Convention sub-law, a batsman cannot be substituted by a bowler, he has to be a batsman. Elworthy said there would be the same rules for choosing the COVID-substituions.