Concussion substitutes likely to debut in Ashes

London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to introduce concussion substitutes to international cricket in the upcoming Ashes (series between Australia and England) next month.

The topic of concussion substitutes is on the agenda at the ongoing ICC annual conference in London. It is likely that changes to playing conditions will be approved so that all the matches played in the World Test Championship will have the safety protocols, ESPN Cricinfo reported.

The debate for concussion substitutes started when Australia’s opening batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck by a bouncer in a List-A match in 2014.

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Cricket Australia had introduced concussion substitutes to their men’s and women’s domestic one-day tournaments and the Big Bash League (BBL) for the 2016-17 season.

But Cricket Australia had to wait for the approval from ICC to introduce concussion substitutes to their domestic Sheffield Shield tournament.
The apex cricketing body has conducted trials of concussion substitutes and they have used research done by Cricket Australia into cricket-specific effects of concussion.

In the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, there were a range of protocols in place to deal with the situation of concussion. Each team had a nominated team medical representative and there was an independent match-day doctor at every game to provide support.

During Sri Lanka’s Test tour of Australia earlier this year, Sri Lanka’s batsmen Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne were struck on the head and were taken to hospital. The Sri Lankan management team did not have a doctor so both teams were treated by members of the Australian medical staff.

The ICC annual conference is all set to conclude on Friday, July 17.
The Ashes series between England and Australia begins from August 1.

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