Wary batsmen want better helmets after Phillip Hughes' tragedy
New Delhi: Phil Hughes' tragic death has shocked the cricket world so much that even young Indian first-class players are demanding better equipped helmets in the coming days to minimise the possibility of head injury.
Delhi's Ranji Trophy probables today practised at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground and former India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand said that he has already told the company which supplies him helmets to give the latest version with better cover.
"I will be leaving for Deodhar Trophy tomorrow. I have told my kit sponsors to send me the newly designed helmets. Phil Hughes was wearing Masuri's older version of helmets. The newly-designed ones have their grills extended till the neck region. So you minimise the possibility of having any exposed area in that delicate part," Chand, who will be playing for North Zone, said.
In fact premier helmet manufacturing company Masuri has come up with their new line of helmets 'Vision Series X-Line', which covers the region around and below the ear better than the old red Masuri helmet that Hughes was wearing.
Veteran India opener and Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir however feels otherwise.
"Masuri makes the best helmets and you can't blame the manufacturer. The helmet that I wear is not the one that Hughes was wearing. It's just luck and nothing else. He got hit in a delicate region and it was freak," Gambhir told PTI today.
Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that it's not about helmets but players should be aware and conscious about wearing all the protective gears while batting.
"It's not about helmets only. I have seen a lot of batsmen not wearing chest guards which I feel is a very wrong thing. Some feel that their body movement gets restricted while wearing chest guards but I have never felt that way. I believe one can even sustain serious chest injuries or rib-cage fractures. So it's not only about helmets but also about chest guards."
Former India wicketkeeper and Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya feels that since the time manufacturers have started making protective grill or visor of titanium, the quality has improved.
"The newer ones made of titanium rather than iron can bear the impact better if a bouncer hits the grill. You have to understand that this is a very unfortunate incident. But yes, if a bit more modification can further improve the quality of helmets nothing like it," said Dahiya.
However the most telling quote came from Delhi wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht, when asked if he plans to wear a customized helmet or one with better protection.
"Helmet se kuch nahin hota hain. Agar ball pe naam likha hoga toh kuch nahin kar sakte (If your name is written on that delivery, no helmet can work)," said Bisht.