Melbourne: Cricket Australia has introduced a new safety measure for the upcoming 2023/24 season, requiring Australian batters to wear neck protectors on their helmets when facing fast or medium-pace bowlers. This decision comes as a response to the tragic incident in 2014 when Australian batsman Phillip Hughes lost his life after being struck by a bouncer in the neck during a game in Sydney.
The governing body of cricket in Australia has strongly recommended the use of neckguards since the unfortunate incident involving Hughes. While some prominent players like Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, and David Warner had initially resisted wearing them, neck protectors will now be mandatory for both men’s and women’s matches starting in early October.
Cricket Australia’s Head of Operations, Peter Roach, emphasized the importance of safeguarding the head and neck in the sport. He explained that this decision was the result of extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders.
This announcement follows a recent incident where Australian all-rounder Cameron Green had to leave the field due to concussion after a bouncer struck the side of his helmet during a one-day international match against South Africa.
Additionally, Cricket Australia has made other notable changes, including the removal of the automatic award of six runs for batters who hit the roof of Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium during Big Bash League matches. These measures collectively aim to enhance player safety and uphold the integrity of the game.