Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

ECB to permit concussion subs to bat and bowl

By Charles Randall

11 April 2018

Concussion replacements will be allowed to bat and bowl in the ECB's four professional domestic competitions this summer.

This is a significant change by the ECB to the playing conditions for the Specsavers County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup, Vitality Blast and Kia Super League.  Substitutes have already been allowed to take full part in cases where they replace someone called up for England representative duty during a match.

The concussion concession will not apply to club cricket, though the new Laws of Cricket allow substitutes to keep wicket. The recreational sector already has  compliance education  to consider as the 2018 season starts. Teams need to ensure five-run penalties are not conceded too easily through, say, over-aggressive appealing. Changes in the Laws about running out the non-striker  by the bowler should be studied; batsmen will have to be much more guarded about backing up.

In county cricket full-playing replacements will be allowed for concussion or suspected concussion. One might add that shell-shock - as in the England's 58 all out in Auckland - would not qualify.  The replacement will be permitted to bat and bowl on a like-for-like basis, as judged by  the ECB cricket liaison officer appointed for each match or by the umpires if a liaison officer is not present.

Dr Nick Peirce, the ECB’s chief medical officer, has been leading ECB research into concussion in cricket for several years. "This is a change made in the interests of player safety and health," he said. "While concussion is not as common in cricket as in contact sports such as rugby, our research has shown an average of around 15-20 incidents in first and second team cricket during each of the last few seasons."

Peirce added: "We have already mitigated against this by making helmets meeting the latest safety standards mandatory, and improving the levels of training for umpires and other officials. Now the ECB Board have approved a proposal from the ECB cricket committee that we go a step further – with that proposal reflecting a very strong view from first class counties.

ECB Playing Conditions: 

Amendments to the Laws of Cricket: