PUT A LID ON IT! NEW LAWS HEL­METS

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By El­iz­a­beth Am­mon

THE ICC have an­nounced tougher reg­u­la­tions on hel­met safety which will make it com­pul­sory for bats­men to wear mod­els which ad­here to the high­est safety stan­dards.

Con­cerned that not all in­ter­na­tional crick­eters were wear­ing hel­mets that will meet stan­dards from Fe­bru­ary 1 this year, sanc­tions will be taken against any player not wear­ing the rec­om­mended pro­tec­tion.

An of­fi­cial warn­ing will be is­sued after each of the first two matches in which a non­com­pli­ant hel­met is worn, and if there is a third breach the player will be sus­pended for one match.

The ICC’s gen­eral man­ager of cricket, Ge­off Al­lardice, said: “Our No.1 pri­or­ity is to have all bats­men wear­ing the safest hel­mets avail­able rather than to see play­ers sanc­tioned.”

The new reg­u­la­tions came into force on Jan­uary 1, but the ICC have agreed a month’s grace be­fore be­com­ing stricter on en­forc­ing them.

How­ever, the new reg­u­la­tions stop short of mak­ing it com­pul­sory for play­ers to wear a hel­met sim­ply say­ing that if they do it must meet the spe­cific safety stan­dards.

This is in con­trast to reg­u­la­tions brought in last year by the ECB, which stated that any pro­fes­sional crick­eter play­ing for Eng­land or in county cricket must wear a hel­met at all times when bat­ting and that hel­met must meet the BS7928:2013 stan­dard.

Last April, An­drew Strauss had to in­ter­vene to in­sist that Alastair Cook wear one of the new-style hel­mets after he be­gan the sea­son bat­ting for Es­sex in a non­com­pli­ant one.

Last year Cricket Aus­tralia also in­tro­duced new reg­u­la­tions stat­ing that hel­mets must meet the new safety stan­dards but, un­like the ECB, only stip­u­lated that bats­men must wear hel­mets against fast or medium pace bowl­ing not against spin­ners. In­deed David Warner was seen bat­ting in a cap in Aus­tralia’s re­cent se­ries against Sri Lanka.

Other in­ter­na­tional cricket boards have not adopted the same poli­cies which prompted the ICC’s cricket to make the rec­om­men­da­tion to in­tro­duce these new sanc­tions.

Hel­mets which meet the spec­i­fied stan­dard have a smaller gap be­tween the top of the grille and the peak of the hel­met and have un­der­gone rig­or­ous test­ing on the re­sis­tance of the grille which must be fixed in po­si­tion rather than be­ing ad­justable as pre­vi­ous hel­mets al­lowed.

After the death of Phillip Hughes, the Aus­tralian bats­man who died in Novem­ber 2014 from bleed­ing on the brain as a re­sult of the ball strik­ing the back of his head, many crick­eters have de­cided to go be­yond.

They have added a neck pro­tec­tor to their bat­ting hel­met although this is not a re­quire­ment un­der the new di­rec­tive.

TCP VER­DICT

Any­thing that im­proves the safety of the game is surely a pos­i­tive. Craig Kieswet­ter had his ca­reer ended by a ball strik­ing him hav­ing gone through the grille, so a smaller gap is def­i­nitely needed. It shouldn’t take sus­pen­sions for play­ers to re­alise that safety is paramount, but there are no prob­lems if that re­ally is the only way to get the mes­sage through.

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

New style: Alastair Cook sports his new hel­met for Es­sex hav­ing started the game wear­ing one of the old-style hel­mets

Chief: Ge­off Al­lardice

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