One for the trivia nights: Marnus Labuschagne and Vikram Solanki, international cricket’s first substitutes
Vikram Solanki (left) and Marnus Labuschagne (AFP Photo)

Marnus Labuschagne on Sunday entered the history books after replacing Steve Smith in Australia’s playing XI as a concussion substitute in the drawn second Test against England at Lord’s.

READ: Labuschagne steps up to save Australia the blushes

Smith was diagnosed with concussion after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on the penultimate day. After being removed from the field, Smith returned to bat as he passed a series of concussion test. However, on Day 5, Smith complained of headache and grogginess forcing Australia to name Labuschagne as his substitute.

Labuschange thus became the first ever like-to-like substitution in cricket.

This is 14 years after England’s Vikram Solanki became the first super substitute in ODI cricket. It was an experimental rule which the International Cricket Council (ICC) trialled for a brief period allowing teams to add a 12th man to enter their playing elevens as a replacement at any point during the contest as a batsman, fielder, bowler or wicketkeeper.

Rewind: Vikram Solanki becomes cricket’s first super substitute

It was also known as tactical substitution and the player who was replaced played no further part in the contest. Solanki replaced fast bowler Simon Jones during an ODI against Australia in 2005 after the latter had completed his quota of 10 overs.

He entered the field during Australia’s 31st over with the one-field umpire Rudi Koertzen making a ‘T’ sign to confirm the decision. A batsman, Solanki, however, had no role to play as England top-order ensured a nine-wicket win. During England’s chase, Australia also made a tactical change to their side, replacing Matthew Hayden with spinner Brad Hogg.

Labuschagne, however, made a telling contribution, hitting a fighting half-century while batting at No. 4 to help Australia ensure a draw on the final day.

The ICC eventually scrapped the super-sub rule as questions were raised over its usage and benefits.