London - Teams across all four professional domestic cricket competitions in England will be allowed to replace concussed players during matches, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday after it approved rule changes for the new season.
The incoming player, who will be allowed to bat and bowl, must be deemed a "like for like" replacement by the Cricket Liaison Officer appointed for the match, or by the on-field umpires if the ECB's representative is not present.
"This is a change made in the interests of player safety and health," ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce said in a statement on the governing body's website (www.ecb.co.uk).
"While concussion is not as common in cricket as in contact sports, our research has shown an average of around 15-20 incidents in first and second team cricket during each of the last few seasons.
"This season, each team, home and away, at first and second team level, will have to be supported by a medical professional who is qualified to make judgements on possible concussion following a head-strike," he added.
The new rules come into play for the County Championship, the Royal London Cup, the Vitality Blast and the Kia Super League this season.