New Zealand's Ben Lister becomes first COVID-19 substitute

Parth Dhall
·2-min read

New Zealand
New Zealand

20 Oct 2020: New Zealand's Ben Lister becomes first COVID-19 substitute

New Zealand fast bowler Ben Lister has become the first COVID-19 substitute to be used in professional cricket.

Notably, Lister replaced the left-handed batsman, Mark Chapman, before the start of the Plunket Shield game between Auckland and Otago.

Chapman, who has represented Hong Kong and New Zealand in international cricket, had reported that he was sick and thereby undertook a COVID-19 test.

Replacement: Lister was named the replacement ahead of the toss

Auckland medium-pacer Lister will remain the replacement for Chapman until the result of the test comes out.

Since the match began a day later as compared to the other Plunket Shield games, Chapman's replacement could be announced prior to the toss.

Meanwhile, the former took one wicket in the first innings as Otago were bundled out for a mere 186.

Fact: Auckland Cricket gave the official confirmation

"Ollie Pringle makes his First-Class debut becoming No. 524. Ben Lister starts as COVID-19 replacement with Mark Chapman awaiting test results after feeling ill yesterday," Auckland Cricket tweeted.

Fact: Ben Lister starts as COVID-19 replacement

Gary Stead: Here is what NZ coach Gary Stead said

New Zealand coach Gary Stead, who was watching the match at Eden Park, spoke on the same.

"I wasn't aware that Chapman had been feeling ill and had to get a COVID test. From my perspective, it's great that he's not penalised for doing the right thing in what is obviously different times we face in the world," Stead told ESPNcricinfo.

ICC: ICC allowed use of COVID-19 substitute in June

In June, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed interim changes to playing regulations, that comprised COVID-19 substitutes in Test cricket and the ban on saliva usage to shine the ball among others.

For containing the spread of novel coronavirus, the Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee had announced several recommendations, which were later ratified by the ICC Chief Executives' Committee (CEC).

Fact: Marnus Labuschagne was the first concussion substitute in international cricket

This is the second category of 'substitute' that has been announced by ICC in two years. Last year, Australia's Marnus Labuschagne became the first-ever concussion substitute (like-for-like replacement) in Test cricket, after Steve Smith was injured by a bouncer from Jofra Archer during the Ashes.