What does the law say about substitute player as India left with only 10 players after Ravichandran Ashwin’s withdrawal?

Ravichandran Ashwin has withdrawn from the Test squad, effective immediately due to a family medical emergency leaving India with only 10 players on the field. Let's find out what the law says about substitute fielder in this regard.

Sarah Andrew
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Ravichandran Ashwin (Source: X)

The Indian team has been marred with injuries in the ongoing series against England. First Mohammed Shami and Virat Kohli were ruled out of the entire series due which was followed by Shreyas Iyer’s poor run of form and KL Rahul’s untimely injury which induced them to go with two debutants in the 3rd test.

If this was not all, then now their premier off-spinning all-rounder Ravi Ashwin who recently got his 500th scalp in the 3rd test has pulled out of the Indian squad from the Rajkot test mid-way due to a medical emergency in the family. 

The Indian Cricket Board announced the news via an official statement regarding Ashwin’s unavailability for the remainder of the test. In the official statement, the Indian Cricket Board wrote, Ravichandran Ashwin has withdrawn from the Test squad, effective immediately due to a family medical emergency. In these challenging times, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the team fully support Ashwin."

It further added, “The Indian Cricket Board extends its heartfelt support to the champion cricketer and his family. The health and well-being of the players and their loved ones are of utmost importance. The Board requests respect for the privacy of Ashwin and his family as they navigate through this challenging time."

However, Ashwin pulling out means more trouble for team India as the Indian team will enter the field on Day 3 with only 10 players which includes only one bowler. Moreover, England has come out with a counterattacking approach and is batting with a run rate of more than 5 runs per over.

What does the law state about the situation?

The left-handed Ben Duckett took apart the Indian bowling on Day 2 and attacked the Indian spinners with his sweeps and reverse sweeps Ashwin was the one who was looking as the main threat for Duckett with the ball spinning away from him but with him not being available for the remainder of the test, it could be detrimental for India’s chances not only in the test but in the series.

According to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the authority responsible for overseeing the Laws of the game, umpires have the discretion to permit a substitute fielder if they are convinced that a player has sustained an injury or fallen ill during the match. 

Given that Ashwin is neither unwell nor injured, India will only be permitted to utilize a substitute fielder in Rajkot if approved by England captain Ben Stokes. However, this substitute fielder will not be permitted to participate in batting or bowling for the remainder of the match. It's important to note that only concussion substitutes are allowed to bat or bowl.

Ravichandran Ashwin Ind vs Eng