Mott bats for substitutes for injured players in cricket

Sydney: New South Wales coach Matthew Mott has demanded mid-match substitutes for injured players, and cited pacer Doug Bollinger’s injury as evidence in Australia’s loss to India in the first Test in Mohali.

Mott believes fast bowlers are at risk of injury because the ICC restricts the 12th man to fielding and carrying drinks duties.

“It is part of Test cricket that you have to bowl when you’re not 100 per cent but the effect [of forcing others to compensate for an injured bowler] is felt two or three Tests later because you’ve overworked the bowlers left out there,” Mott said.

“Our team doctor, John Orchard, has been campaigning for replacements for quite some time. Cricket is the only sport in the world where you can’t introduce a substitute to fill in for an injured player,” an Australian newspaper quoted him, as saying.

Bollinger suffered an abdominal strain before lunch on the final day of the first Test in Mohali. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting then had to introduce part-timer Marcus North, and India seized the advantage to win the Test by one wicket.

“It’s a really big issue because we do a lot of research into workloads, and you can control the environment to some extent,” Mott said.

“However, it takes only one injury to have a compounding affect on the whole squad because an injury to a key bowler flows on - and that’s what’s happened at our level over the last few years,” he said.