England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) director of special projects Steve Elworthy has revealed that the ICC is discussing plans on ‘COVID replacement’ substitutes in Test matches.
Elworthy told Sky Sports’ The Cricket Show that ECB is discussing the possibility of these substitutes with the upcoming England-West Indies series in view, which would work similarly to the concussion substitutions.
The replacement will be a ‘like for like’ substitute, and the affected player will be put into isolation for a period of time.
“COVID-replacements are certainly something that the ICC are discussing. I have seen communication about that and it’s certainly something we hope would be allowed – specifically for Test matches, not necessarily ODIs or T20s.
“That replacement would have to be a ‘like for like’ player, if you will. Our on-site COVID medical practitioner and Public Health England would be informed immediately and that player would then be put into isolation for a period of time, based on government guidance and the medical overlay.
“With the testing protocols of getting those players into that [bio-secure] bubble first, you would hope that wouldn’t be a scenario we’d have to deal with. But clearly it is something we are planning for,” he said.
West Indies are set to tour England for three Tests, with the first match scheduled for 8th July in Southampton. All the matches will be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment.