Cricket: Spotlight turns on quality of helmets

New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan falls to the ground after being hit in the eye. Photo / Mark Mitchell
New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan falls to the ground after being hit in the eye. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Mitchell McClenaghan played apart in his own downfall because his helmet was not up to scratch, according to a top Australian cricketer.

The spotlight is turning to the quality of McClenaghan's helmet after the Kiwi tailender suffered an awful eye injury when felled by a Pakistani bouncer in Wellington.

Black Caps team mate Trent Boult and Australian Ed Cowan, a player close to the late Phillip Hughes who died after being hit by a bouncer, have both focused on the style of helmet McClenaghan wears.

McClenaghan has posted photos of his closed and badly swollen eye, which has highlighted just how lucky he was to walk off the Basin Reserve during the T20 match.

Cowan, who played with Hughes for New South Wales and against England in the 2013 Ashes series, is stunned that McClenaghan's safety equipment is not up to date.

Cowan has described the day he knew Hughes would not recover as the worst of his life.

After McClenaghan went down, he said: "Another victim to a ball through the grill of an old Masuri helmet. How they were ever deemed safe is beyond me."

Boult, who replaced McClenaghan at the crease, said: "It's tragic what has happened over the last wee churns your stomach and is hard to talk about, but we've got to move on.

"Short pitched bowling is something I fear, but with the technology that goes into supposedly indestructible helmets, they've come a lot way.

"Every step is taken to make sure we're safe. Unfortunately one snuck through and got him good.

"Mitch was wearing an older helmet I believe, I think that's down to his personal preference. It's never nice seeing one of your teammates on the ground, it is a scary part of the game, but has been going on for years.

"With new helmets that supposedly can't happen. The visor gap between the grille and the lid is supposed to be smaller."

- NZ Herald

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