Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur, who is incidentally a part of ICC’s cricket committee, has revealed that he will be taking up the issue of ‘injury replacements’ in Tests after as many as 4 Lankan players went down with injury. Sri Lanka only had 2 premier bowlers fit and bowling on Day 3.
With the ICC having already introduced Covid and Concussion substitutes over the last year, cries are now starting to grow for the committee to allow ‘injury substitutions’ for teams in the longest format. Cricket is currently the only prominent team sport to not allow in-match substitutions of any kind barring for concussions and Covid-related troubles, but the horror show in the ongoing first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka is proving to be a game-changer, swaying more and more people to champion for the introduction of injury substitutes.
At the completion of Day 3, Sri Lanka are currently staring at the possibility of having only 7 fit players for the last two innings, having seen four of their players be taken down with injuries, three of them with serious issues. Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and Wanindu Hasaranga all went down at different points across the first three days - although Hasaranga recovered partially - and this majorly handicapped the visitors, who ended up conceding a remarkable 621 in just 142 overs.
Mickey Arthur, the head coach of Sri Lanka, has been left mortified watching his players go down like flies, and in the aftermath of the scarcely believable chain of events, the 52-year-old has revealed that he will be actively taking up the issue of the introduction of ‘injury substitutes’. Arthur, incidentally, is a part of the ICC Cricket Committee that is headed by Anil Kumble.
"In terms of Covid substitutions, I sit on the ICC cricket committee and I will be having a chat at the end of this Test match," Arthur said after the close of play, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
"India lost one of their quicks today [in Melbourne]. I suspect that more teams are going to lose their quicks as it goes on. The rigours of the workload is just going to be too much with coronavirus around."
Sri Lanka were cruising in the first innings on Day 1 when de Silva retired hurt on 79, after which he never came out to bat. Kasun Rajitha later went down on Day 2 after delivering just 13 balls, followed by Kumara, who walked off the field on Day 3. The visitors are currently 65/2 in their second dig, trailing the home side by 160 runs.