The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reportedly in discussion with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow coronavirus substitutions in the upcoming Test series against the West Indies and Pakistan.
According to a report by BBC Sport, the change would apply only in Test cricket and not in any form of limited-overs cricket. “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.
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.
Meanwhile, the ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, has suggested the international governing body of cricket to ban the use of saliva in shining the ball.
The ECB, on the other hand, called 55 men’s team players on Friday to return to training as they prepare for the prospect of behind-closed-doors cricket with Government clearance.
“The ECB continues to work closely with its county partners to provide a safe and efficient return to practice for players, and is grateful for the support of the counties in assisting with the coaching provision across this period,” the board said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the ECB had announced that a pool of 30 male cricketers of the national team would resume individual outdoor skill-based training in different phases at venues across the country.
However, with the ECB looking to host international matches against the West Indies, the numbers of players called for training seems to have increased.