If Sarfraz is unable to take to the field on Wednesday, Mohammad Rizwan may substitute him as the wicketkeeper in the ongoing Test. But Rizwan is not even part of Pakistan’s squad for the second Test, so is the substitution even possible? As per revised ICC rules, yes.
When a reporter asked Sarfraz during his post-match press conference what he was discussing with field umpires Sundaram Ravi and Richard Illingworth, the skipper said he was informing them that if he is unable to keep wickets then the team will field Rizwan, who is currently with the Pakistan ‘A’ squad in Dubai.
A similar situation occurred on October 13, when West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich suffered an injury to his knee and went off the field during day two of the second Test against India in Hyderabad. Although West Indies had Shai Hope who could keep wickets in the playing XI, Jahmar Hamilton, a substitute, replaced Dowrich as the wicketkeeper.
There’s another example: earlier this year, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel injured his finger during the third Test between India and South Africa in Johannesburg, and was replaced by substitute wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.
Substitute fielders were earlier not allowed to bat, bowl or keep wickets when they took the field in place of an injured player. But, last year, the ICC revised the rule allowing a substitute fielder to keep the wicket if the original is injured.
The team management is meanwhile hopeful that Sarfraz will recover by the next morning. It has however decided to call Rizwan in case the skipper does not become fully fit in time.