Cricket Australia has taken a substantial amount of steps forward to make bowlers wear helmets. According to a recent report in cricket.com.au, it had made moves with a manufacturing company to make protective helmets for the fast bowlers of the game. It is expected that the products will be ready for the bowlers to use by the end of this year.
With the emergence of T20 cricket, power-hitting has become the new norm and bowlers are getting exposed to skull injuries to a major extent. The fast bowlers, especially, owing to their follow-through after delivering the ball, receives no time to see the ball if it is hit straight back to them.
After a net bowler was hit on his skull by David Warner during the practice session of Australia’s World Cup team, Cricket Australia is looking more determined to make the headgear for bowlers. Bowlers from all across have urged to the concerned authorities to ensure their safety and come up with an equivalent of batting headgear.
“CA has been leading testing on a newly-designed, Australian-developed helmet for players in contact football codes, which is hoped can help protect cricketers as well. Testing has shown the helmet can reduce the likelihood of concussion by up to 55 per cent for football players,” said a report on the official website of Cricket Australia.
In March this year, another Australian bowler Fawad Ahmed had to undergo surgery after he suffered a fractured jaw in a Pakistan Super League match. The spinner was hit in his face by a batsman’s straight drive.
In 2017, New Zealand fast bowler Warren Barnes had made the headlines when he took the field wearing a protective headgear during a domestic T20 match between Otago Volts and Canterbury Kings. Bowling for Otago, the right-arm quickie was seen wearing a modified helmet used by hockey players while defending a penalty corner. The helmet protects both the head and the face of the person wearing.
“The way I follow through once I deliver the ball, my head stays really low down and I don’t actually see the ball until the batter has hit it,” Barnes told the BBC at the time. “I had quite a lot of close calls in the nets and previous games being hit in the chest, but thankfully nothing in the face.”