ECB in talks with ICC to allow coronavirus substitutes in upcoming Tests

Once international cricket resumes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the game could now see the use of coronavirus substitutes.

Currently, a like-for-like replacement can be made in a cricket match only when a player suffers from a concussion. For all other injuries and illnesses, a substitute fielder may be permitted, but that player cannot bat or bowl.

However, according to a report in BBC Sport, the England and Wales Cricket Board is in talks with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about allowing coronavirus player substitutions in its upcoming planned Test series against the West Indies and Pakistan.

As per the report, the change would apply to Test cricket, but not ODI and T20Is.

“There are still some considerations from an ICC perspective about a COVID-19 replacement. That still needs to be agreed,” ECB director of events Steve Elworthy said.

“I would hope that would be in place well before the Test series starts in July,” he added.

The ICC Cricket Committee has already recommended banning the use of saliva to shine the ball.

All cricket activities in UK are currently suspended until at least 1 July as a result of which England’s three-Test series against West Indies, originally scheduled for June, has been postponed.

However, Cricket West Indies on Friday gave its approval for the team to travel to England for the Test series to be played behind “closed-doors” and players and staff to be kept in “bio-secure environement”.