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Hafeez and others on helmets and safety

The overwhelming opinion is that the quality of helmets needs to improve

SHARJAH: The fatal blow received by Australian batsman Phillip Hughes has raised the debate about the use of helmets in cricket.

The overwhelming opinion is that the quality of helmets needs to improve.

Helmet manufacturers have begun research and development on the helmets currently in use.

But should wearing helmets become compulsory for all batsmen irrespective of the bowler on view? That's something Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez believes should be left to the individual concerned.

"See, it’s all about the comfort level of the batsman. There are many batsmen who do not like to wear a helmet against spinners. It’s an individual thing. In the 1980s, there were many players who did not use helmet even against pacers because they did not feel comfortable,'' said Hafeez.

The use of bouncers will constantly come into focus. New Zealand decided against bowling bouncers against Pakistan as a matter of respect to the departed Hughes.

But Pakistan did not desist and their quick bowlers gave it as good as they get. Hafeez was not one for restricting the use of bouncers. Instead, Hafeez left it to the authorities to take a call on the matter.

"We are not the ones to make the rules. The authorities will think about it and I am sure they will do things that are good for the game. This is a bad incident. There have been thousands of incidents when the ball has struck a batsman on his head but he has been saved because of the helmet. The first thing is that we have to think of Phil and his family, but then life has to go on. And I am sure the authorities will take whatever steps they need to take,'' opined Hafeez.

World over there have been mixed reactions on the use of bouncers. But in the end, all feel that it is all down to the ability of the batsmen.

In fact former England batsman Geoff Boycott thinks that helmets give a 'false sense of security' to batsmen who no longer know how to cope with fast bowling.

Elsewhere Lancashire County Cricket Club have ordered a new set of helmets for their batsmen for the next season.

"They've all got helmets but have they got the up-to-date, the best, which could make the difference? We put in an order," Giles told BBC Radio 5 live.

Even Cricket Australia (CA) has said that they would conduct their own investigation into player safety.

But the lone dissenting voice came from England captain Alastair Cook who reckoned that cricket had "never been safer" and backed the use of bouncers.