In a bid to make the sport safer for players, ICC is likely to introduce concussion substitutes for the first time in international cricket. The rule, if approved by the governing body, will be implemented in the upcoming Ashes Test series that starts from August 1.
An ESPNcricinfo report says that the issue will be discussed at the ICC annual conference, which is currently being held in London. The ICC annual conference will conclude on July 19.
The push for the use of concussion substitutes gained momentum after the unfortunate death of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes, who was struck on the head by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match in November 2014. The move comes as other sporting bodies are raising awareness about the short and long-term effects of a concussion.
Cricket Australia is among the cricket boards that already mandates teams to keep concussion substitutes in domestic ODI tournaments and T20 leagues.
What the Cricket Australia policy says:
Each team can have a concussion substitute.
– The policy says that if a medical practitioner at the match diagnoses a player with a concussion, the match referee needs to be informed and then the substitution can be made.
– A player cannot participate in the game after being substituted until cleared to play by a medical practitioner.
– A player cannot return to play on the same day he/she was diagnosed with having a concussion
What ICC did in the World Cup
During the recently-concluded Men’s World Cup, the ICC had taken certain measures to ensure players didn’t play with a concussion. Unlike earlier editions, every team had nominated a Team Medical Representative, while the cricket body provided both sides with one match-day doctor at every game.
Earlier this year during Sri Lanka’s Test tour of Australia, Kusal Perera, and Dimuth Karunaratne were struck on the head and were taken to hospital midway during the match. However, due to the lack of a doctor in the Sri Lankan unit both the players were treated by members of the Australian medical staff.
The upcoming Ashes, involving cricket’s oldest rivals, will be the first series in the new Test Championship. The championship will be played over a period of two years and the finals will be held on June 2021.