New helmet saved Buck
AUSTRALIA’S cricketers are still struggling to deal with the death of Phillip Hughes but the lessons learnt from the tragedy saved Chris Rogers at Lord’s.
Rogers’ decision to wear a specially- designed helmet produced in the wake of the Hughes tragedy saved the Australian opener’s career when he was struck in the head by a Jimmy Anderson bouncer.
Rogers is struggling to overcome repeated dizzy spells in the aftermath of the blow behind his ear which was horrifically similar to the bouncer that felled Hughes at the SCG in November.
But Australian team doctor Peter Brukner yesterday revealed that the fallout could have been much worse had Rogers been using a traditional helmet without the new foam guard attachment that protects the back of the neck.
Brukner said the blow at Lord’s was more brutal than the one that ruled Rogers out of the West Indies series in January. Wearing the new helmet meant Rogers was spared another concussion that would almost certainly have forced him into early retirement.
Brukner said an on- field concussion test cleared Rogers to continue batting on day two at Lord’s and subsequent tests have backed his assessment.
“We’ll never know how much damage would have been done if it ( the foam guard) wasn’t there, but he certainly believes it helped,” Brukner said.
“After one particular ball he walked a little circle and turned his head a bit and all of a sudden he had this dizziness sensation and the pavilion was moving from side to side.
“I’ve certainly not seen a traumatic ( balance injury) before due to a blow in my time in football and cricket, but they obviously do happen and Chris has been a bit unlucky.
“He’s very positive and wants to get out there and keep going again and he’s just much relieved that it’s not a concussion. I think you’ll find over the next year or two that more and more players will start wearing the foam guard.’’
The reaction from the Australian players was immediate, with captain Michael Clarke switching to the foam guard helmet in the second innings of the Lord’s Test.
Brukner admits the fact a batsman in cricket cannot be replaced like a footballer can affect the thoroughness of the concussion test.
However, he insists Rogers would have been pulled from the field after he was originally hit by Anderson had there been any sign of concussion.
“If I’m in doubt I will take him off and do the assessments they do in football,” he said.