Australia batsman Adam Voges has backed the idea of allowing substitute fielders for players who may be suffering a concussion as a result of a head injury on the field of play. His comments came as he recounted how his freak head injury during a recent County Championship match between Hampshire and Middlesex had left him feeling like he had a "hangover" for 10 days thereafter.
"The fact that you get pulled out of the game immediately and you don't have any say in that, is one factor in it," Voges said. "I understand the argument that, if you allow a sub for concussion, why wouldn't you allow a sub for other injuries. It could be a bit of a grey area. I understand that. But I am in favour of the sub rule."
Voges had been struck at the back of his head, while fielding, by a ball thrown back towards the wicketkeeper after Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry had hit a boundary. Voges fell to the ground immediately, before being helped off the field by two physios and taken to hospital with a suspected concussion.
"I was standing at slip, just contemplating a fielding change, or a bowling change, I can't quite remember," he recalled. "I didn't really pay attention to where the ball had gone or when it was coming back. It wasn't until very late that the keeper realised the ball was going over his head and it hit me straight in the back of the head. It was just a freak accident really."
This was the first time Voges had been forced from the field due to a head injury. Though he was hospitalised only briefly, he said that he felt groggy and unwell for several days after the incident.
"I was a bit groggy for a week, week and a half after that and missed the next game," Voges said. "It was probably my first experience with it. It felt like I was waking up with a hangover. It wasn't until 10 days after it that I started to feel right again."
In May, Cricket Australia had proposed trialling the concussion subs idea for two years in domestic first-class cricket, but the ICC cricket committee, which met in early June, argued that "the current laws and playing conditions allow players to receive the best possible medical treatment and further change to the regulations in this area is not required at present".