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War over helmet design

The protection the helmets offer is not as definitive as the batsmen believe, one thing is for sure that the gear nerrows down the vision for sure.

The captain of the English Test cricket side, Alastair Cook, and his former team-mate Jonathan Trott are not obvious rebels. Mr Cook is strait-laced and squeaky clean. He and his wife were infamously described by the chairman of the English Cricket Board (ECB) as "very much the sort of people" that the England skipper and his family were supposed to be. Yet in the opening round of England's County Championship season, rebels are exactly what they became, thanks to a row over the ECB's new regulations governing batting helmets.


From the start of this season, the ECB banned the use of helmets with adjustable grilles, following two serious incidents when a ball struck a batsman in the face after passing through the gap between the grille and the peak. In one of these cases Somerset batsman and wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter was forced to end a hugely promising career after failing to recover from an eye injury. England's fast bowler Stuart Broad was also hit in the face during a Test match against India in 2014. Although Mr Broad received nothing more than a broken nose, his batting is commonly believed to have suffered for several months afterwards.
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Both Mr Cook and Mr Trott ignored the new regulations—which provide a list of approved helmets with fixed grilles and with gaps to the peak of no more than 50 millimetres (two inches)—and took to the field for their counties wearing their usual equipment. In both cases, the ECB intervened and forced them to switch the following day. Mr Cook has not complained publicly over the issue, but has made his feelings clear to the ECB. (What experts and former cricketers say on the issue buy or subscribe to the Economist magazine to read the full story)


May 23, 2016   



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