ICC considers concussion substitutes
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering the use of concussion substitutes following the release of a report on the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Although the report did not recommend the use of such substitutes, Cricket Australia (CA) will be taking up the matter with the ICC.
As the substitution method is being mooted for first-class cricket at the moment, CA will have to seek ICC’s permission to retain the first-class status. However, ICC’s permission will not be required for the List A matches or domestic Twenty20s, where CA will be making independent decisions about whether or not to implement substitutes.
"Of concern to some is the fact that players who have been struck on the head and have suffered some symptoms (of concussion) may not admit to this as they would not want to prejudice the team by leaving it effectively a man short in batting and/or bowling," Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council David Curtain QC -- who was part of the review in Hughes death -- says.
"In some quarters, there is agitation for the rules to be changed to accommodate a substitute who can bat and/or bowl, in contrast with the existing rules.
"As my terms of reference do not extend to matters involving the rules of the game, I have no suggestions to make in this regard, but merely draw it to Cricket Australia's attention that this may be a matter requiring ongoing consideration."
In response, Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland said CA was exploring the possibility of allowing a 'concussion substitute' to be permitted during domestic matches, although such a change to playing conditions in international fixtures was the domain of the International Cricket Council.
"It is understood that the ICC Cricket Committee will consider this and related issues at their next meeting on 31 May," Mr Sutherland said.