By Nick Said
PRETORIA, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce injury substitutions in tests as his side have been left with only six fit players for the remainder of the five-day clash with South Africa.
The tourists trail South Africa by 160 runs in their second innings and although they have lost only two wickets, in reality they might be six or seven down unless they can get their injured players back onto the crease.
A number of players have been hampered by muscle injuries and Arthur has blamed this on the team’s inadequate preparation for the match due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I do sit on the ICC Cricket Committee and I will be having a chat at the end of this test match,” Arthur told reporters on Monday.
“I saw India also lost one of their quicks (fast bowlers) today (against Australia) and I suspect that more teams will lose quicks as the workload will just be too much with COVID around and the quarantine process.
“If the world was normal we would not be in this situation, the conditioning would be perfect. With it being an abnormal world at the moment, I’m pretty sure it will come up for discussion at ICC level.
“We might only have six fit players to finish a test match. That’s not good enough for anybody – our team, the TV audience and the opposition.”
The Lankans have brought an extended 21-man squad for the two-test series in South Africa, after which they head home for two tests against England starting on Jan. 14.
“Thank goodness otherwise it would be (batting coach) Grant Flower at three and me at number four in the next test match,” Arthur said ruefully. (Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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