Mandatory ‘Neck Guards’ to be applied for Australian batsmen soon
The brutal blow that floored Steve Smith in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s has revoked the debate of implementing compulsory ‘neck guards’ which would supposedly be applied for Australian batsman by the coming year.
Cricket Australia’s sports medicine chief has revealed that governing body is working towards applying the rule.
Stem Guards, developed by British manufacturer Masuri following the death of Phillip Hughes in Sydney in 2014, are recommended but not yet have been made mandatory for batsmen.
Smith have had usage of stem guards in some occasions but he found it uncomfortable.
Smith was viciously hit by the neck by tormenting fast bowling display of young Jofra Archer in the fourth afternoon of the drawn second Test.
He collapsed to the ground but raised to his feet before being taken from the field. He passed a concussion test and returned to bat.
Cricket Australia’s sports science and sports medicine chief Alex Kountouris said as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, “Obviously, at some point, we want to make it a requirement to wear but we want to make sure we have the right products — we haven’t seen what the products are at the moment.
“When we get to that point, I think we’ll be comfortable to say: ‘Let’s make it a requirement’. There is still a little time to go but we are not far away,” he said.
The death of Phillip Hughes after being hit on the base of the skull in a Sheffield Shield game, pressed Australia to go for better safety measures.
Following an independent investigation into the tragedy, Cricket Australia introduced new rules for concussion substitutes in domestic games.
These have now also been adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The rule was used for the first time when Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne on Sunday after medics ruled him unfit to carry on.