No grizzles as replacement rule aids rival

Rob Walter
Rob Walter
You will not hear any complaints from Otago about the Covid-19 replacement rule which handed its opponent an advantage during this week’s Plunket Shield encounter.

That is because the boss was on the committee that came up with the rule.

Volts coach Rob Walter helped work on rule which was designed to helped keep everyone safe.

But it paved the way for Auckland seamer Ben Lister to replace batsman Mark Chapman on day one at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Chapman had reported feeling unwell the day before the game and was dispatched for a Covid-19 test. Until his result was known, Lister took his place.

No-one is suggesting Auckland took advantage of the rule. But the reality is the home team had an extra seamer at is disposal while it was in the field and then Chapman returned while Auckland was batting.

Auckland won the game by an innings and 129 runs and it was well deserved win.

Neither Lister or Chapman had a big impact on the game but surely there was question of fairness? After all it was hardly a like-for-like replacement.

Walter did not feel hard done by, however.

"I was part of the Covid work group that tried to work its way through all the different scenarios which was almost impossible," Walter said.

"I’m comfortable with it. It was discussed at length and we just tried to do the right thing.

"In this instance they had an extra bowler for day one and got their batter back. But at the end of the day it is not worth too much thought, really."

Walter said consideration was given to ensuring the replacement player was a like-for-like swap.

"That just gets too messy when you are away [and have a limited squad] or you are at home but your A side is playing. We did discuss it but it was easier just to make sure the nominated 12th man becomes the replacement.

"On another day they could have been batting to save the game and lost a batter."


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