by Anura Guruge
>> Junaid Khan concussion.
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I kind of said everything I had to say about this issue, i.e., how wearing helmets is creating a sense of uncalled for invincibility, in this August post — after Pakistan’s Junaid Khan got hit on the helmet in Sri Lanka.
My contention is very simple: too many batsmen are getting hit on their helmeted heads BECAUSE they are wearing helmets — and as such are much more cavalier about treating short-pitched balls with the respect they demand AND have NOT LEARNED all the proper techniques of dealing with a bouncer without getting hit on the noggin.
Remember helmets are NEW in what is a sport that goes back centuries. Helmets were not even widely used at the start of the 1980s. So helmets have not even been around for 30 years and we have been playing Test Cricket for 137 years. And trust me, ask anybody who was around or look it up, there were fast bowlers in the 1970s & 1960s, most of them tall and black as coal, who were as quick, if not quicker, than any of today’s quickies. But here is the crazy thing. Prior to helmets we didn’t get too many people taking FULL blows to their head with a cricket ball. Prior to helmets you just could NOT afford to take the risk. A cricket ball making contact with your temple at 85 mph will give you more than a bad headache.
Now with helmets I see batsmen ducking into balls. It is BECAUSE they have a helmet. No technique, no sense.
But it is like the gun laws in the U.S. Nobody will have the courage to argue the issue at the ICC. But maybe IF we get a spate of injuries, and this is the 3rd helmet related injury I have seen since August, the ICC may be forced to act. Banning helmets, altogether, batting, keeping and fielding will take a LOT of guts. But it will save players and it will save the game.
I hope Phil is OK. I feel bad for anybody who gets hit with a cricket ball.