An interesting comment from John, below the Leicestershire match report, provoked a little research today. In turn, it suggests to me that there will be an enforced change in the Derbyshire side for the games against Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire later this week.
The ECB Return to Play guidelines are quite clear in that after a player has taken a blow to the head:
Regardless of the extent or nature of the concussion there is a need for immediate cognitive and physical rest.
Understanding of concussion is evolving but neurophysiology suggests
that the brain does not begin to recover for some days after the initial
insult and that there is an increased risk for some time after the
It goes on to explain that a return to activity should be gradual and monitored by an appropriate professional, but:
Graded steps of gradual increase in activity must be accompanied by a 24-hour window to check for further symptoms or signs.
To achieve the last two levels as identified in the below table, the
player needs a 24-hour window for each level and this therefore means no
further return to a full training situation for six days.
On that basis, Matt Critchley, who had to leave the field after a blow to the head on Sunday, will play no cricket this week, at the very least.
It is a shame for the lad, who was doing well in his role at the top of the order, but his well-being is of far greater importance than two games of cricket. I am sure he will be back before too long and will doubtless play a key role in the final phase of T20 matches.
As is always the case in life, one man's misfortune is another's opportunity and the likely beneficiary is Tom Wood. I suggested on several occasions that this competition might be his forte and unless Imran Tahir goes Kolpak and Martin Guptill flies in to replace him in an overseas role before Thursday (hey, a man can dream!), Tom Wood is likely to find opportunity knocking.
I feel sorry for Tom, as well as Charlie Macdonell this year. In most other seasons they would have had first team opportunity before this, having scored a fair share of runs at second team level. They can do no more than that, yet it is otherwise hard to see where a chance will come for either. Ben Slater is another whose chances have been limited since early season, but the batting line-up in this competition is solid and established.
All they can do is keep plugging away and take the chance if and when it is presented. Matt Critchley did that, as did Luis Reece when he was battling for a place. So too has Alex Hughes and more recently Ben Cotton. When the chance came, they were ready, prepared to battle and produced the goods.
No one can ask more.