New Zealand to introduce concussion substitutes


Daniel Hughes was the first player to be replaced by the concussion substitute rule © Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket is set to introduce the concussion substitute rule in this season’s domestic limited-overs competitions – the McDonald’s Super Smash T20, which begins on December 4, and the 50-over Ford Trophy, which begins on January 15, 2017.



The move came after two players – Canterbury opener Chad Bowes and Otago wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Duffy – were forced out of games after being struck on the head.

Bowes, who was hit by a Scott Kuggeleijn bouncer in Canterbury’s second innings against Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield game in Christchurch, was forced to retire hurt on 9 and missed the following two rounds.

A bouncer from Lockie Ferguson resulted in Duffy falling onto his stumps after being struck in the second-round Plunket Shield match between Otago and Auckland. Duffy has not played since.

New Zealand Cricket, however, will not have the concussion substitute rule in the Plunket Shield after the ICC had earlier rejected the idea for first-class cricket.

The rule was used for the first time in the Matador Cup Elimination final in Sydney in October. New South Wales batsman Daniel Hughes was struck by a bouncer from Peter Siddle and was forced to retired hurt, before eventually being ruled out of the match.

Under the new rule introduced by Cricket Australia this summer, the Blues were then entitled to pick a concussion substitute. The replacement player, Nick Larkin, then officially became part of the playing XI, and came in to bat at No. 8.

In Australia, only a like-for-like player can be activated as a concussion substitute. In New Zealand however, the 12th man will be the replacement player to create a level playing field for away teams who travel with only 12 players, as opposed to Australia where sides carry more reserve players.

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