Unfortunately, late Australia batsman Phillip Hughes on Thursday became the first international cricketer to die from an injury suffered while batting. This incident sparked a debate on how to make the game safer.

The 25-year-old New South Wales man Hughes, who switched to South Australia earlier this season, has played 26 Tests for Australia. He suffered massive bleeding in his brain after playing too early at Sean Abbot’s bouncer for which he took a blow behind his left ear, below the helmet while playing for South Australia against his former side NSW in a Sheffield Shield match at Sydney.

According to Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said that Hughes never regained consciousness following his injury.

A fierce debate erupted over how to make cricket safer. Some called for a complete ban on bouncers, saying that cricket is not worth dying for. But others dissented, arguing that this would only accentuate the growing imbalance in the game, already loaded in favour of batsmen. They also pointed out that the injury suffered by Hughes was an extremely rare one.

Some also blamed the helmet Hughes used in that match as it is an old modelled helmet. Masuri, the UK company which manufactured Hughes’s helmet says Hughes was not wearing the newly modelled helmet which offers “extra protection” in the area where he was hit, while still allowing “comfortable movement”. The company is seeking more video evidence to determine the exact point of impact.

The company also said “This is a vulnerable area of the head and neck that helmets cannot fully protect. While enabling batsmen to have full and proper movement.”

But the 2014 modelled Masuri Helmet could have saved him. It has a larger grill and a greater neck protection.

India’s Forma Helmet too is safe because it is deeper at the back and provides more protection. Few experts have suggested the batsmen to wear a composite foam skull cap below the helmet which offers more mobility and protection.

Hope the batsmen realise the importance of helmets and use the more safer one’s to avoid more such tragic incidents.

Image Courtesy: masuri


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