Sam Harper is out of danger but will be kept under observation for some days    Getty Images
Sam Harper is out of danger but will be kept under observation for some days Getty Images

Cricket Australia (CA) have joined hands with England Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to convince International Cricket Council (ICC) for having concussion substitutes in First-Class games. This move came after Victoria Bushrangers wicketkeeper Sam Harper got hit by Redbacks batsman Jake Lehmann s bat in the Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval. However, CA’s proposal was rejected by ICC, saying it does not see the need for players to be subbed out in First-Class games. But now, CA will make another submission after the completion of its domestic season, as they have the strong and official backing of other Test-playing countries.

Talking about their approach for the second time, CA’s head of cricket operations Sean Cary was quoted by as, “If we can consolidate a submission from a number of member boards then it provides a more unified approach to the [ICC] Cricket Committee it’s not just CA proposing something. This is a direction that member boards from across the board would like to see introduced.”

It is believed that having a unified approach will put an additional impact on the ICC s committee, which is headed by India coach Anil Kumble and also includes Australia’s, Darren Lehmann. This increases their chances of getting the proposal approved. While concussion substitutes are allowed in CA’s one-day and Twenty20 competitions, they are not permitted in shield games in accordance with ICC rules.

The incident which led to CA s appeal took place on February 10, on the second day of the Shield clash between Victoria Bushrangers and South Australia. Jake Lehmann pulled a short ball off-spinner Jon Holland and, in completing the shot, the bat hit Harper who was standing up at the stumps but wearing a helmet at the time. The 20-year-old keeper fell to the turf and appeared in discomfort. However, he was able to walk off the field with the help from the medical staff.

Scans have cleared Harper of any major injury after being taken to the hospital, where he underwent various scans that did not identify any bleeding or bone damage but would remain in hospital overnight for observation.

In addition, former Test batsmen Adam Voges and Alex Doolan have also been withdrawn from shield matches this season by CA’s concussion policy.