The World cricket has in recent years seen a lot of innovation in more departments than one.
But the safety of the players, one that is of utmost importance for the ICC, still needs a bit of change according to former South African great Mark Boucher.
Boucher, one of the best keepers in the history of the game, quit the game abruptly after he was struck by a bail during a warm-up game against Somerset on the 2012 England tour.
He was a key player for the South African squad at the time and it was an unfortunate incident.
Keeping wickets for Imran Tahir, the leg-spinner in the game, Boucher, who was standing up to the stumps was hit in the eye by a bail that flew off the stump after Tahir managed to dismantle them.
Here is the video of the incident:
Though it was said that his injury could have been avoided if he was wearing a helmet, the 39-year old, in a recent interview, felt otherwise.
“I had not worn the helmet but even if I had, it would not have avoided the accident. Helmets are designed for balls, not bails,” Boucher said in an interview in his country.
In the recent meeting of the ICC members, the board reiterated its position that the wearing of helmets in international cricket should not be mandatory,
However, they laid down the law that when a helmet is used, it must comply with the new British Standard (BS) – BS7928:2013.
The former South African keeper also agreed with the ICC that it is always safer to use a helmet but revealed that making it mandatory may not be fair to the players.
“I would strongly recommend everyone to wear a helmet, but making it compulsory would not be fair for players who prefer not to wear one,” he said.
Boucher went on to propose that the ICC try to find a way to attach the bails to the stumps so that they do not fly all over the place when hit by the ball.
“My recommendation would be to somehow attach the bails to the stumps, by a light string. This way, the bails will not fly and cause damage to any player,” he added.
Even recently, Indian skipper MS Dhoni was also hit a by a bail in a similar incident.
In the third T20 in the tour to Zimbabwe, Dhoni, who was wearing a helmet lost his stumps trying to heave the ball and one of the bails bizarrely found a way into the helmet to hurt his eye.
Here is a video of the incident:
The skipper however came out to keep wickets with a blurry eye in the second innings.
With the problem occurring on a regular basis, ICC must find a way to eliminate it.