June 4, 2020 / 5:36 PM / a month ago

ICC discussing COVID-19 substitutes for test matches, says ECB official

Cricket - England announce ICC World Twenty20 Squads - Lord's - 6/4/09 Twenty20 Tournament Director Steve Elworthy during the squad announcement Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien/Livepic

(Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) is discussing the possibility of introducing substitutes if a player tests positive for COVID-19 during a test match, England and Wales Cricket Board director of special projects Steve Elworthy said.

Last year, the ICC approved “like for like” substitutes across all formats of international cricket to replace concussed players during matches and Elworthy said the same rule would have to be applied for COVID-19 substitutes.

"COVID replacements are certainly something that the ICC are discussing," Elworthy told Sky Sports here

“I’ve seen communication about that and it’s certainly something we hope would be allowed — specifically for test matches, not necessarily ODIs (one-day internationals) or T20s (Twenty20).

“That replacement would have to be a ‘like for like’ player... 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.”

England are set to host the West Indies in a three-test series next month, with the visitors flying in a 14-man squad plus 11 reserves who will train and quarantine together before the first test scheduled for July 8 in Southampton.

“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,” Elworthy added.

“But clearly it’s something we are planning for.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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