No concussion substitute if like for like player not available

LONDON: Match referees will take the final call on concussion substitutes under new ICC regulations, giving them the power to rule out a replacement player entirely if the referee deems there is no appropriate “like for like” player available.The concussion substitute rule will make its start in Test cricket in the first Ashes match between England and Australia at Edgbaston from Thursday.The ICC’s most senior referee, Ranjan Madugalle, will be the primary arbiter of the new concussion rule, in concert with the umpires Aleem Dar, Joel Wilson, Chris Gaffaney and the England and Australia team doctors, Mark Wotherspoon and Richard Saw. Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s operations manager, explained that the match referee will be empowered to decide whether a concussion replacement is appropriate in the circumstances, whether they should be restricted in what they can do in the game, and if a replacement should be ruled out.“The treatment of the player is the No. 1 priority with this,” Allardice said. “Whether the player is to take no further part in the game comes from the medical staff, and whether there is a replacement available is the secondary consideration. If a player breaks a leg in a game there’s no replacement available with that circumstance either. It is an opportunity for teams to help manage their players better, but there’ll be a bit of a period where we’ll find out the rules and if there are any loopholes with the rules that have been set.“In terms of the like for like replacement... the match referee is the sole decision maker on that. Every circumstance is going to be different depending on when the player is requested to be replaced. If a bowler is injured and they’ve only got a batting innings left then the decision might be different than if the same player was injured and they’ve only got a bowling innings left.“The match referee could put conditions on a player being involved. If there is an all-rounder replacing a batter, then he might put a condition that that player is unable to bowl during the match. The referee has the flexibility to best accommodate a like for like replacement.”

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