Australia’s Finch backs concussion subs in international cricket

"You don’t want the game to be determined by someone getting hit and then being out of the game,” said Australia captain Finch ahead of the the World Cup 2019 fixture against West Indies.

Aaron Finch speaks at a press conference ahead of Australia's match against West Indies at World Cup 2019.   -  Getty Images

Australia captain Aaron Finch says he would welcome the introduction of concussion substitutes in international cricket.

A report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said the International Cricket Council (ICC) could allow concussion subs from October 1 this year.

At present, substitutes in international matches can only field and are not allowed to bat or bowl. But a two-year trial of concussion substitutes in various domestic cricket competitions around the world started in October 2017, allowing players to bat and bowl.

The issue was thrown into sharp relief at the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales when South Africa batsman Hashim Amla was struck on the head by a bouncer from England fast bowler Jofra Archer and had to retire hurt even though he was wearing a protective helmet.

He resumed his innings later on but was left out of the Proteas’ second game, against Bangladesh, on medical grounds.

Finch said on Wednesday that he had no qualms with allowing replacement batsmen or bowlers to take over from a concussed player at international level.

“I know that it has worked in Australia in domestic cricket,” the skipper said at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, a day before his side’s World Cup match against the West Indies.

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The opening batsman added: “The last thing you want is people getting hit, obviously, but if there is, you also don’t want the game to be determined by someone getting hit and then being out of the game. If that happens in the first over, that’s a huge disadvantage.”

In English domestic cricket the rule is that only like-for-like replacements are allowed, so a fast bowler cannot come in for an injured spinner.

“If everyone plays ball, I think it’s a good decision,” said Finch. “It’s all about the safety of the player and at the end of the day, the game of cricket isn’t as important as someone’s health.”