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England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) director of special projects Steve Elworthy has revealed that ICC is considering to introduce a coronavirus substitute for the longest format of the game as cricket resume amid the pandemic.
ECB is set to host the Test series against West Indies in July, so they had demanded ICC to allow a coronavirus substitute. Although the players would be kept in a bio-secure environment, the board is well aware that players might get affected by the unprecedented virus.
Like for like replacement: ECB
Elworthy told Sky Sports’ The Cricket Show that ICC is discussing to allow COVID-19 substitute for Test matches, not necessarily for shorter formats. The replacement would be “like for like”, which would work similarly like a concussion substitute. He added that the affected person would be isolated and the medical team would examine him.
“COVID-replacements are certainly something that the ICC are discussing. I have seen communication about that and it’s certainly something we hope would be allowed – specifically for Test matches, not necessarily ODIs or T20s,” Elworthy said.
“That replacement would have to be a ‘like for like’ player, if you will. 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, based on government guidance and the medical overlay,” Elworthy added.
“With the testing protocols of getting those players into that [bio-secure] bubble first, you would hope that wouldn’t be a scenario we’d have to deal with. But clearly it is something we are planning for,” he said.
As per ICC rules, the substitute for injuries and illness, expect concussion, can not do batting or bowling. They can only be used as fielders. Well, the conditions would be different now, so ECB is urging ICC to introduce the coronavirus substitute ahead of the West Indies tour to England.