Monday, February 2, 2015

Cricket Helmet Safety

I do not think that anyone would argue that manufacturers of Helmets used in the highly popular worldwide game of Cricket are doing everything they can to thwart potential injuries from local club games right through to Professional/International level. However, with the very sad news of the passing of Australia Cricketer Phil Hughes during a Sheffield Shield game concerns were raised hugely of how safe this protection equipment actually is.

According to Cricket Australia, Phil was “struck on the back, lower left side of the head when he turned away as he followed through with an attempted pull-shot to a regulation short-pitched delivery from young NSW quick Sean Abbott”.

The manufacturer Masuri, expressed its great sadness with the news of this event and said "Masuri would like to send sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Phillip Hughes over their great loss," read a statement from the firm, issued on Thursday morning. "Everyone at Masuri is truly saddened by this event."

Most people appreciate this cricket equipment will never be fully safe and especially if players do turn their heads it will hit them in an unprotected area around the back of the helmet, in the neck area. If a delivery is coming down at head level players do tend to turn their heads whereas they should try and stay straight as the ball will hit the grill or helmet at the front which specifically designed to protect the player. However when you are facing a delivery at 90mph+ this is easier said than done.

Former Yorkshire Batsman Chris Taylor who now runs his own highly successful Cricket Retail Store in Leeds, All Rounder Cricket stated that a very small amount can be done to protect the area where Phil Hughes was hit.

“I know cricket manufacturers and helmet manufacturers are working all the time to improve the safety of helmets and I know a new British safety standard has been launched in the UK for the 2015 season where helmets have to have fixed grills,” Taylor, a former England Under-19 international, said.

“I guess its part of the job, at some stage somebody is going to hit on the head. The helmet doesn’t protect all of the head, there’s a gap for your eyes, there’s a gap where your neck is, so you have to expect some blows at some stage and this is very unfortunate for Phil Hughes.”

Many have said could Masuri have not extended the back of the helmet to cover the neck even more, something Taylor believes would be infeasible.

“Once the helmet starts trying to cover the neck as well, if that’s where Phil Hughes has been hit, it’s going to restrict your movement as a batsman,” he added. “You need to be able to move quickly so if it’s restricting your head and your neck, we could get to the stage where you just wear full body armour because at the end of the day you can get a blow on your chest that can cause you serious problems.

“My understanding is it’s hit him at the worst possible place at the wrong angle and it is extremely unlucky.”

Taylor knows from working with the current helmet manufacturers that they are working hard to eradicate any issues but pure “accidents” will happen every now and again.

“I work closely with some of the helmet companies and they are always working, they have to achieve this British safety standard,” he said. “There comes a stage when you can’t protect any more of the body without being unable to move. I know the ECB has taken steps forward but it’s part of the game, but you’ve got to be able to move so what lengths do you go to in order to cover a person’s body?”

The helmet was made by Masuri, however it was not the latest Vision Series models currently available for the 2015 season with the extra protection features. If you would like to look at the current models available please check out the following link below.

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