I see the 12th man was used in the Ashes today and he was allowed to bat for Australia. I have read the rules and this is not right according to the Rules. Has something been changed within the past few days.


I presume this is in relation to the use of Marnus Labuschagne as a substitute batsman for Steve Smith during the second test of the 2019 Ashes series at Lords. In which case this is an example of a Concussion Substitute.

The concussion substitute was introduced by the ICC to all forms of international cricket (Men's and Women's), and also to First-class cricket, from August 1st 2019 (the start of the new ICC World Test Championship).

It is designed to allow a team to make a "like-for-like" replacement (who can bat and/or bowl), that has been approved by the match referee, for a player that has been forced to retire because of concussion.

The rule can be found within section 1.2 of the ICC Playing Conditions:


If a player sustains a concussion or suspected concussion as a result of a head or neck injury during the course of the relevant match, a Concussion Replacement may be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • - the head or neck injury must have been sustained during play and within the playing area described in clause above

  • - The Concussion Replacement Request must be submitted within 36 hours of the incident specified in if a Concussion Replacement is to be permitted


The ICC Match Referee should ordinarily approve a Concussion Replacement Request if the replacement is a like-for-like player whose inclusion will not excessively advantage his team for the remainder of the match


Once the Concussion Replacement has been approved by the ICC Match Referee, the replaced player shall play no further part in the match

Above can also be found in the ICC Guidance Notes

  • Strictly, concussion substitutes are not in "all firms of cricket", only ICC controlled international matches. – Philip Kendall Aug 18 '19 at 21:00
  • @PhilipKendall - have updated to better explain this, but it is also applicable in first-class cricket, too. – ImClarky Aug 21 '19 at 9:09
  • Thankyou very much for that. Now understood. – Sue Cobb Aug 21 '19 at 9:55
  • @SueCobb - no problem :) - if you could also click the little tick next to my answer - this will mark my answer as the 'accepted answer', making it easier for future readers to find the right answer. – ImClarky Aug 21 '19 at 11:53

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