Knocked down, but not out - A review of the ICC’s new concussion replacement regulations

Published 18 October 2019 By: Edmund Gross, Thomas Cleeve

Cricket Player

In what was a sensational summer of cricket, the sport also saw the first use of a ‘concussion replacement’ in the international game.1 Steve Smith, the Australian batsman, was hit in the neck2 by a bouncer from English fast bowler, Jofra Archer, during the first innings of the second Ashes test at Lords. The ball narrowly missed hitting the part of his neck that so tragically caused the death of Phillip Hughes. Smith came back out to bat after undergoing a medical examination but looked out of sorts and was out LBW on 92 shortly afterwards. His condition worsened that evening and he began to suffer symptoms including headaches, dizziness and drowsiness3. The medical team stated that, despite passing three concussions tests immediately after the incident, Smith had suffered a delayed reaction to the impact. Australia made the decision to use a concussion replacement and Smith did not feature in the second innings.

This article examines the background to concussion replacements, explains how the new regulations operate, and discusses several talking points that will no doubt emerge with their introduction to the game.


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Edmund Gross

Edmund Gross

Barrister, Furnival Chambers

Ed has a busy criminal practice in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth Courts and has been instructed in a wide range of criminal matters. Those who instruct him have noted his meticulous preparation and he has been described as very approachable and professional in his manner.

During pupillage Ed was involved in the widely reported Pentonville Murder trial at the Old Bailey.

Ed has also been instructed on behalf of members of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.

Through the Attorney General’s Junior Juniors Scheme, Ed has been instructed by the Department of Health and Social Care on work in relation to European Union exit legislation.

Ed has a keen interest in Sports Law. He sits on MCC disciplinary panels and recently had an article published in Football Legal, an international journal dedicated to football law. During pupillage he assisted in preparing for hearings at Wembley and research on legal issues for hearings and lectures. Prior to joining Chambers he worked on a case involving a number of high profile footballers and cricketers.

Ed is currently instructed by a firm to conduct a combined privilege and substantive review along with other assistance on the case, within the firm’s offices for one of their current corporate clients, a large multinational, who are facing an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

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Thomas Cleeve

Thomas Cleeve

Associate, Pennington Manches Cooper

Thomas is an associate in the employment team based in London. He acts for individuals, corporate clients, and staff associations and their members, advising on a broad range of employment law matters. These involve both contentious and non-contentious issues, such as discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, regulatory, and day-to-day HR matters, including handbook policies and other contractual issues. He also advises on the drafting and negotiation of employment contracts and settlement agreements and has assisted a number clients on their response to data subject access requests.

A member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Thomas has experience in the employment tribunal and the High Court. He plays an active role in the firm’s sports and entertainment sector group and has represented clients on anti-doping cases. He is also a member of the firm’s disability subcommittee.

Thomas qualified in 2019, having joined Penningtons Manches as a trainee solicitor in 2017.

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