'Protective equipments will come under additional scrutiny now'

'Protective equipments will come under additional scrutiny now'

'Protective equipments will come under additional scrutiny now'

The passing away of Phil Hughes on Thursday after he was fatally hit on his neck by a bouncer a couple days ago, the quality of protective gear has come under sharp focus.

The 25-year-old was wearing a helmet but it was of little use as the Aussie southpaw fell unconscious never to recover again.

“I guess it will certainly be on the minds of players but I don’t think how it is going to impact the game as such,” said former India captain Anil Kumble, who is the chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee.

“Protective equipment has always been a part of our agenda, our area of focus (ICC Cricket Committee). It will probably come under additional scrutiny now, we will try and do what best we can to make cricket as safe as possible,” remarked Kumble.

Former India paceman Javagal Srinath echoed Kumble’s sentiments. “I think this (Hughes’ death) will make people think differently,” he noted. “I think it’s time people went for better gears as in foolproof in so far as injuries are concerned. I am sure every protective gear will undergo some kind of testing, the designs may change and the quality of material used may change.”

Despite the freak nature of the injury, Kumble felt authorities concerned will have to take steps to prevent a recurrence.

“I have read that that is a one in a billion kind of incident, but it has happened and so we have to start thinking about further ways of protecting players against such mishaps.
“It is quite a challenge. It is a sport, there are risks associated with it but not like this.

There has been a lot of ongoing research with regard to helmets and other protective gear. That is one of the key aspects in our deliberations, and will continue to be so,” he explained.

There is also a tendency by batsmen to modify their helmets wherein they get rid of a grill or two for unhindered visibility that may prove damaging. Recently Stuart Broad was hit on his nose by a Varun Aaron snorter that sneaked through the extra gap between grills.  
“It’s something called risk versus comfort,” Srinath pointed out. “Some people don’t wear visor at all basically because of comfort factor and confidence in their own technique.”   

Kumble himself had his jaw fractured when a Mervyn Dillon delivery struck him in West Indies. “After I got hit, I added an additional visor. I got it welded on my grill, I made my own special grill which obviously didn’t go through the impact tests but it was something I felt comfortable with and confident sporting. You tend to go with that kind of thinking.

Right now, everyone must be badly shaken. We need to take some time and regroup, and see how best we can use growing technology to make the sport as safe as it possibly can be.”