Sunday, 4 March 2018

Replacements for INJURED players

WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
Casual Replacements for players who suffer serious injuries after the start of play, day one.

Terminology check:
Note that Substitute Fielders are defined in Law 24 (2017 Code) and should not be confused with Replacement Players.
This error is frequently made in conversation and correspondence and can lead to mistakes.
  • Substitutes are sometimes called the 12th man. They can field but may not bat or bowl.
  • Replacement Players are sometimes called slashed players. Up to three Replacements are allowed between days in 2 day matches so long as they listed before the start of play on day one. Such replacement players may bat or bowl on the day they are named in the same manner as any other player. See Saturday Playing Regulation 7 for more.

DISCUSSION
Here's some recent communication which will illustrate the problem.

Email from a team captain...
"This is regarding our ongoing match against xxxxx. One of our players who played last week (xxx name redacted xxx) met with a motorbike accident yesterday and (was) seriously injured.
He was supposed to play both Saturdays.Is there any chance we could substitute (sic, he means REPLACE) him with someone else?
It would be great if you could help us on this."

Management Committee's reply....
"Unfortunately , our current regulations do not allow for a substitute to join the team on the Second day unless the person is listed on the team sheet as a replacement .
I am sorry about your player... who is injured but the same situation happens when someone is suddenly called in to work on the Saturday at the last minute .
The regulation that ensures we stick to the team list has been in our competition for a number of years to stop teams cheating the system in the past .
You can always provide a " substitute " as a fielder but importantly , he cannot bowl or bat as he is not on the team list ."

All of which is correct according to the rules.

But it's very hard on the team now forced to play one short.

The counter argument is that unscrupulous teams will use relaxation of the Replacement rules to swap players to suit the circumstance of their match.
Such as: On day one, team 1 bats and gets all out for 120. So team 2 then bats and reaches 6 for 80 by stumps day one. Between Saturdays, the last 3 players yet to come in for team 2 will be swapped for skilled batsmen so team 1's chance of first innings win is unfairly curtailed.

So what are the actual issues that are at stake here?

How can rorting be avoided? (e.g. fake an injury, replace an extra player... hmm.)

I imagine in most cases of injuries there will be a medical certificate or report that will elicit a suitably official case for action.


Use of such documents means that they must be produced, sighted, approved. That sort of thing can get tedious and when the procedure slackens off (as it inevitably would) the gate gets left open for rorting.

Who and how should the certificate be received? Umpire? Opposition captain? CricketOps? Management Committee? Association Secretary or President? Why should any person being burdened with that tedious admin?

What else might this be allowed for? Minor illness? (Colds and flu etc) Work commitments? (Last minute weekend rostering of some sort.) Exams? Family emergencies? Where is the line that must be drawn?


Under what circumstances would the replacement be disallowed? (Or, asked another way, how does rorting get stopped?)

Test match and first class cricket remains a replacement free zone.
Soccer used to have no in game replacements up to the late 60's. A tactic in olde time soccer was to hack the best player in the shins and get him to limp off... then you're playing against 10.


It was not so long ago that Saturday afternoon cricket used to be no replacements week to week. When I played Warehouse and Churches in the 90's that was how the game was. The introduction of slashed players (3 of 'em) actually alleviated a great deal of inconvenience.


Since that time the weekend demands on people have generally become greater. Modern work in particular is not scared of invading the once sacred weekend. Other life problems (medical, family and all the rest) remain barriers to participation that probably prevents some players from joining a team or staying with it.

If we introduce some relaxation it risks getting rorted and almost certainly creates a stack of work for someone.

If we don't then teams and players get inconvenienced and the number of people able to participate in cricket dwindles as a result.

We really need an idea here...

Over to you.

ABM 4-Mar-2018


Note: There was a implication in the old head trauma appendix that possibly allowed head injured players to be replaced. It was never used in the two years it was in force. That appendix has already been scheduled for replacement which eliminates that section.

Note: There might be a model of a way forward in regulation 7.13 Replacement of Players Resulting from Injuries in Representatives Matches. It needs examination and understanding. As far as I  am aware this rule has not been used in a very long time.






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