Monday 6 January 2014 

Should Wicket-Keepers Be Allowed Substitutes?

Adnan Akmal
Adnan Akmal suffered an injury while wicket-keeping - do you think he should have been allowed a substitute?
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

It's never fair to laugh when a player picks up an injury but when Adnan Akmal fractured his finger off the final ball of day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka, it was hard to keep a straight face.

Not that I have anything against Akmal, I hasten to add.

First of all, how unlucky do you have to be to injure yourself from the very final ball of the day, even if you do so while taking a catch?

But mostly because of the fact that Sri Lanka had named not one but four specialist wicket-keepers (count them: Prasanna Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva) in their line-up.

Had the same thing happened to them, they would have been able to hand the gloves to another specialist and carry on.

Not so for Pakistan, for whom Younus Khan stepped up and took over as wicket-keeper for days four and five.

More irony of course is that Adnan is the third Akmal brother to keep wicket for his country so had either of his brothers (Kamran or Umar) been in the team, it wouldn't have been a problem.

Sarfraz Ahmed now heads to Dubai ahead of the second Test.

I wish him good luck. So too, no doubt, does Younus.

Perhaps teams should be allowed substitutes if specialist wicket-keepers are injured. Or would that be unfair on a team like Sri Lanka who are able to field players who can field in many positions? Let me know your thoughts!

© Cricket World 2014

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