Outcry over cricket gear safety standards

The death of first-class Australian cricket batsman Phillip Hughes this week has led to a huge outcry that standards for the sport’s protective gear need to be reviewed.

South Australia’s Hughes, who was wearing a standard protective batting helmet, was hit on the head by a bouncer from New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney on Tuesday.

He was dazed, fell on his face and rushed to hospital, where he remained in a coma for two days before passing away.

One of the first to call for a review was former International Cricket Council president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

“I feel that the safety factor of the modern-day cricket gear and equipment needs to be evaluated

in order to assess whether there is any further scope of improvement for better protection of the players,” he said.

Indian cricket coach Rajkumar Sharma said: “The manufacturers should be taken to task. Why are they not implementing the specifications, recalling old ones and stopping the manufacturing of old models? Just like vehicle manufacturers recalling old models following a defect, helmet makers should also be asked to do so.”

While there has been a number of serious injuries on the oval, deaths have been few and far apart.

In 1959, Abdul Aziz was part of the Karachi team that played against Combined Services in the finals of the Quaid-e-Azam.

He was struck over the heart by off spinner Dildwar Awan. While preparing to face the next ball he fell to the ground and never regained consciousness.

In 1998, former Indian international Raman Lamba was hit on the temple by a cricket ball hit by Mehrab Hossain while fielding at forward short leg in a Dhaka’s Premier Division match.

He suffered an internal haemorrhage and slipped into a coma, eventually dying after three days.

Locally, former Border first-class cricketer Darryn Randall was struck on the side of the head in attempting to pull a short delivery in 2013. He collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where he could not be revived by the doctors.

In some notable injuries, David Hookes had his jaw broken in 1977 by a West Indian thunderbolt.

Test opener Graeme Watson was hit in the face by a full toss from an England paceman in 1971, and was rushed to hospital with severe internal haemorrhaging.– Additional reporting by Espncricinfo

Dangerous moments: Some serious injuries

1999: In one of the worst accidents on the field, Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka top-edged Australian Collin Miller during a test match in Galle. As the ball was in the air, Steve Waugh from short fine leg and Jason Gillespie from deep square leg ran towards it. The ball fell in between the two and Waugh and Gillespie collided, resulting in the former breaking his nose and the latter breaking his leg.

2004: Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s bouncer felled West Indies batsman Brian Lara in the Champions Trophy semifinal.

2004: Gary Kirsten was well-set at the crease on 55. He attempted to hook Shoaib Akhtar but missed it, smashing his cheek.

2005: Ricky Ponting was beaten for pace by Steve Harmison in the Ashes as the Australian missed a hook shot. The ball thudded on to Ponting’s helmet, leaving a cut on the Aussie skipper’s face.

2012: Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher didn’t put on his helmet while keeping to leg-spinner Imran Tahir. When Tahir ­dismissed one of the batsmen bowled, the ball ricocheted into Boucher’s left eye. His retina was damaged, ending Boucher’s 15-year international career.

Source: www.indiatimes.com

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