It seems the International Cricket Council (ICC) is in the middle of a rule-reviewing spree after the conclusion of the cricket World Cup 2019. While there have been changes in rules on slow over-rate with the captains alone not facing the heat any more, the world cricket body has been asked to review the tie-breaker rule after the final of the showpiece event saw a massive controversy as the winner was determined by the count of boundaries.
Meanwhile, the ICC has also approved like-for-like substitutes for players suffering concussions in both the men’s and women’s cricket. The decision was taken on the sidelines of the body’s board and council meeting and the rule is now a part of the ICC’s playing conditions from August 1.
South African opener Hashim Amla suffered a concussion after getting hit on his helmet by England speedster Jofra Archer during the opening game of the cricket World Cup at the Oval on May 30. The veteran batsman had left the field only to return to the crease later but could not do much. He missed the next game against Bangladesh at the same venue on June 2.
“Decisions on replacements will continue to be made by the team medical representative and the player should be a like-for-like replacement who will need to be approved by the Match Referee,” a release from the ICC said.
Australia’s former team doctor had spoken about the issue earlier
It has been alleged time and again that the cricket authorities have failed to do enough to protect players from concussion even after such instances have happened quite frequently in the recent past. Peter Brukner, who worked as Australia’s team doctor between 2012 and 2017 and also for Liverpool FC, told the UK Telegraph that international cricket has been slow to react to the issue of concussion and a lot more could be done to reduce the risks.
“There is currently a worrying divergence in how seriously different countries take concussion, and ultimately this endangers players,” he was quoted as saying by Telegraph in a January 2018 report.
Brukner had also brought to the fore the issue that concussion substitutes are being prohibited in international cricket while there is a lack of full-time team doctors among most of the Test-playing nations.
Even Tony Irish, executive chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, seconded Brukner’s thoughts to say that cricket was lagging behind several other professional sports as far as the issue of concussion is concerned. He also a sought “a more centralised approach” to concussion and wanted a science-based protocol for the game both at international and domestic levels.
In the last few years, players like Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Mushfiqur Rahim and others have experienced concussion after getting hit by the ball while batting. Since 2017, a trial period for concussion substitutes from the ICC has been on, after it had approved the rule in Sheffield Shield — Australia’s domestic four-day tournament.
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