First concussion substitute in Test cricket
Marnus Labuschagne
first first
United Kingdom (London)

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia, b. South Africa) was the first concussion substitute in the 142-year history of Test cricket when he was drafted into the Second Ashes Test at Lord’s, London, UK, on 18 August 2019 following an injury to Australia skipper Steve Smith. International Cricket Council (ICC) rules permitted Labuschagne to bat in the visitors’ second innings and he duly weighed in with 59 runs as Australia limped to 154 for 6 and a draw on the fifth day.

Smith retired hurt on 80 on day four of the match (17 August) after he was hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer, but he later returned and took his score to 92 before losing his wicket. Cricket Australia withdrew Smith from the rest of the match with concussion, which gave Labuschagne an opportunity to enter the fray.

The South African-born batsman played a key role in the rest of the five-match series, following up his Second-Test 59 with 74 and 80 in the Third Test at Headingley in Smith’s continued absence. Labuschagne kept his place for the Fourth and Fifth Tests when Smith returned to the team, scoring 140 runs in four innings. He also bowled 18 overs across the final three Test matches, taking one wicket.