Australia toughens helmet standards after Hughes review

Phillip Hughes

MELBOURNE,  (Reuters) – Australia’s cricket board will make it compulsory for players to wear helmets when facing fast and medium-paced bowling in line with recommendations from a review into the death of test batsman Phillip Hughes.

Wicketkeepers and players fielding close to the wicket will also have to wear helmets in first class matches in accordance with the David Curtain review, which was released on Wednesday.

The helmets, mandatory in games and during practice, must adhere to the highest British standard, Cricket Australia (CA) said.

Hughes was struck on the back of the head by a rising delivery when batting for South Australia in a domestic match in November 2014.

He died two days later in a Sydney hospital aged 25.

“There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t think of Phillip,” CA boss James Sutherland told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

“This report won’t bring him back and it won’t do anything to ease the pain of his family or his loved ones who miss him most.

“But we have a responsibility and a duty to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Hughes’s death shocked the cricketing world and ignited a debate about safety standards, particularly for batsmen, who face fast bowling that can exceed 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph).

Hughes was wearing an Australian standard helmet when he was struck but the Curtain report said even the newer British standard helmet available at the time would not have afforded him extra protection from the blow.

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