The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the introduction of new safety regulations making it compulsory for batsmen to wear helmets that adhere to the highest safety standards when electing to wear them. These standards will apply to both men’s and women’s cricket in the international set up from February 1, 2017.
The ICC press release on January 15 said, “The new regulations, which have been incorporated in the ICC Clothing and Equipment Regulations effective 1 January 2017, do not make it compulsory to wear a helmet when batting, but when a batsman elects to wear a helmet it must be compliant with the new British Standard BS7928:2013.”
“Sanctions will be applied to batsmen who wear non-compliant helmets after 1 February. An official warning will be issued after each of the first two matches in which a non-compliant helmet is worn, and if there is a third breach of the regulations the player will be suspended for one match,” it added.
After the unfortunate death of Phillip Hughes in 2014, in an incident where the ball hit his head while he was playing, ICC has been bringing continuous precautionary measures for the players’ safety.
ICC’s general manager Geoff Allardice has also said that they want to see the players using the best safety gears, in order to avoid any untoward incident before being sanctioned. He said, “Our number one priority is to have all batsmen wearing the safest helmets available rather than to see players sanctioned. It has been pleasing to see that the vast majority of international players have been wearing compliant helmets since 1 January, but some teams have requested more time to assist them in implementing the new regulation before the sanctioning process commences.”
“.. As such, the extension was granted to enable all teams and players to comply, and after this time the regulations will be strictly enforced.”
After the June 2016 meeting, recommendations and pressure from officials of different countries motivated the ICC to take this decision. The players’ safety being given priority here makes this change a welcome one.