Cricket does not allow full substitutions though it is a long game, whereas Soccer or Hockey or even Basketball allow substitutions. Being a team game, it is a game of strategy, and being long it depends on continual physical endurance of all eleven players. A new rule was experimented in 2006 however, it is presently not in play. It allowed for a Captain to name a super-substitute before the toss and call the super-susbtitute in the second innings. This rule favours the team winning the toss, which gives a second advantage to the team winning the toss, besides the toss itself.
Cricket does allow for a fielder to come in for another player but in that case both the players are handicapped, the player coming in cannot bat or bowl or keep wickets, whereas the player going out cannot also do the same immediately on coming back. This affects the ability of Captain to really strategize and make unique game plans.
Also, in cricket players need an excuse to go out, and it becomes a matter of debate whereas running substitutions in hockey allow for the coach to strategize and keep important players back to allow them to gain strength for the finish.
What then could be the possible recourse?
There are many possiblities:
1. Allow captains to name super-substitutes after the toss and decision.
2. Allow players to go in and out of a team of 14 and only 11 take field. Captains would need to name the batsmen at the start of batting (an interesting angle would be to restrict the total number of batsmen to 8), and declare bowlers at the start of bowling (again the number of bowlers to be restricted to 6)
3. Like bowlers, batsmen could be called midway of his innings and sent back later. This would allow captains to seed stablizers if there is a sudden collapse and to seed blasters if there is no acceleration happening. This would make for interest strategy, though it’d be a statistician’s nightmare (but games are made for spectators not statisticians)
4. Coaches can be allowed access to Captains (and vice versa) midways so that strategizing makes the game more attractive. It may be recalled that Bob Woolmer presumed that this is perfectly ok before Hansie Cronje’s ear piece was discovered!
I would like more comments on the possibility of handling substitutions in a better manner.