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Khawaja, Cowan back concussion substitutes

Usman Khawaja believes Cricket Australia's new concussion substitute rule should be introduced in international cricket, after it was used for the first time in Friday's Matador Cup elimination final in Sydney

Daniel Hughes was struck by a bouncer after which Nick Larkin was subbed in as a full member, Victoria v New South Wales, Matador Cup 2016-17, elimination final, Sydney, October 21, 2016

Daniel Hughes was substituted out of Friday's elimination final after being struck on the helmet  •  Getty Images

Usman Khawaja believes Cricket Australia's new concussion substitute rule should be introduced in international cricket, after it was used for the first time in Friday's Matador Cup elimination final in Sydney.
New South Wales batsman Daniel Hughes was struck by a bouncer from Peter Siddle during Friday's game and after retiring hurt and being assessed by Dr John Orchard, was ruled out of the rest of the match. Under the new rule introduced by Cricket Australia in the Matador Cup and BBL this summer, the Blues were then entitled to activate a concussion substitute.
That replacement player, Nick Larkin, then officially became part of the playing XI and could have taken full part in the match - indeed, he was walking to the crease to bat when play was called off due to rain. However, the ICC has rejected the idea of using concussion substitutes in international cricket and first-class games, meaning the system will not be in place for the Sheffield Shield.
"It's a sensible rule, so yeah I would like to see it introduced [internationally]," Khawaja, who will captain Queensland in Sunday's final against New South Wales, said. "But obviously there's a lot of factors that go into it and I'm sure they'll make those decisions.
"It's good that it's taken out of the players' hands because the players don't want to leave and sometimes it can be dangerous. As players we'll never [want to] get off ... especially when you're batting."
The concussion substitute was one of the recommendations that emerged from an independent review into the death of Phillip Hughes in 2014. Ed Cowan, who was batting alongside Daniel Hughes when he was struck on Friday evening, said it was time to take such decisions out of the hands of players and rely entirely on medical advice.
"I certainly think any playing condition that helps to improve the safety of players, and takes concussion out of the players' hands and into the medical experts' hands, I think is a good thing," Cowan said. "The game, unfortunately, has changed in the last few years.
"We play a sport where the danger of the sport is now in the forefront of everybody's mind. As long as the game is looking to progress in its playing conditions to ensure the safety of its players, then everyone is happy."
"Players always want to play. Players play through all kinds of injuries; soft tissue injuries, broken bones and traditionally would have played through concussion. But we've gone past that and I think the players are certainly in favour of the game progressing."
Hughes is considered a chance of playing in Sunday's decider at North Sydney Oval, but there will be no surprise inclusion of Test stars Steven Smith and David Warner for New South Wales, with the pair being rested ahead of the Test summer. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who was Man of the Match in the elimination final, will also sit out as his workload is managed.