Picket fences at cricket grounds have much to answer for in these days of the committed fielder.
Hamid Hassan, the Afghanistan fast bowler, found this to his cost yesterday when he went tumbling over the perimeter railing at the ICC Global Cricket Academy ground and on to the concrete surface beyond.
Play was held up for 10 minutes as treatment was given to Hassan and checks made to ensure he had suffered no catastrophic injury.
Although he was clearly in initial distress and taken off on a stretcher before going to hospital – and it looked deeply concerning – the later bulletins revealed that there was no serious damage to the player. Hassan suffered only bruising to his leg, elbow and shoulder after chasing a shot from the England opening batsman, Alastair Cook.
He was ruled out of the match, however, and replaced by the Combined XI 12th man, George Dockrell, who will be allowed to bat and to bowl.
This is against the strict letter of Law 2.3, which states: "A substitute shall not be allowed to bat or bowl nor to act as captain or wicketkeeper."
England checked that the first-class status of the match would not be altered by the replacement – not a hard task as the ground is in the shadow of the International Cricket Council's headquarters.