Concussion substitute

The Test cricket on Sunday witnessed its first-ever concussion substitute under the new ‘concussion rules’ after Australian batsman Steve Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne on Day 5 of the 2nd Ashes Test at the Lord’s

Smith, after being struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Day 4, suffered a delayed concussion and Cricket Australia decided to replace him for the remainder of the Test. But what are the new concussion rules under which the substitution was made? The new set of rules were implemented from August 1 – marking the start of ICC Test Championship

The International Cricket Council approved the player replacements in all formats of men and women’s international cricket and for first-class cricket worldwide after trying it in Australia’s domestic matches since 2016/17 season. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had adopted the rules in 2018 for its four professional domestic tournaments

After a successful outcome in domestic cricket, the ICC decided to implement the rule in international cricket to safeguard the players from unnecessary harm. The rules were fast-tracked into professional domestic cricket after the demise of Aussie batsman Phillips Hughes, who lost his life in 2014 after being struck on his head in a Sheffield Shield match

If David Warner, a pure batsman, gets injured in a Test match and Australia name Mitch Marsh, an all-rounder, as his replacement, then the match-referee has the power to restrict Marsh from bowling in the match. The rules were implemented for saving a team from having a disadvantage if one of their players suffers a concussion and is out from the match. The rules also restrict a player from taking unnecessary risks by putting his health on the line in a bid to help his team in a match. Every circumstance is going to be different depending on when the player is requested to be replaced. If a bowler is injured and his side has only got a batting innings left then the decision might be different to if the same player was injured and there was a bowling innings left

It's very much the circumstances around the game and the match referees will be given guidelines as will the teams how to interpret them

It should be noted that this new regulation is NOT part of the Laws of Cricket, it is an ICC regulation