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Thread: Helmets in cricket

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    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Helmets in cricket

    Hopefully this wont turn in to a Jewish/non-Jewish discussion...


    Helmets are a significant innovation in cricket. It's baffling that helmets didn't become commonplace until the 1970s, while cricket has for the most part seen fit to protect the legs, hands and groin area from cricket ball pain.

    I'm having a cursory glance at the wikipedia page on cricket helmets which informs me that Patsy Hendren used some protective headwear (self made) in the '30s. Later on Brearley had his own design of protective headwear. Graham Yallop was the first to use a helmet, and Dennis Amiss increased their popularity.

    It amazes me that after a series such as Bodyline, no one thought to themselves "it might be a good idea to protect our heads". Sports like football in the USA and horse racing were using protective headgear much earlier than cricket.

    I never wear a helmet in cricket anymore, although I used to wear one occasionally. I play a lower grade of cricket these days, but if I came across someone who I considered really quick, I'd put on a helmet. My reflexes aren't quite what they were 10 years ago.

    Anyway, this is a bit of a rambling OP to a thread on helmets in cricket.
    Last edited by Monk; 27-04-2013 at 06:06 PM.

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    It's not just about quick bowlers - I'd never dare attempt a sweep shot to a spinner without one.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Hopefully this wont turn in to a Jewish/non-Jewish discussion...


    Helmets are a significant innovation in cricket. It's baffling that helmets didn't become commonplace until the 1970s, while cricket has for the most part seen fit to protect the legs, hands and groin area from cricket ball pain.

    I'm having a cursory glance at the wikipedia page on cricket helmets which informs me that Patsy Hendren used some protective headwear (self made) in the '30s. Later on Brearley had his own design of protective headwear. Graham Yallop was the first to use a helmet, and Dennis Amiss increased their popularity.

    It amazes me that after a series such as Bodyline, no one thought to themselves "it might be a good idea to protect our heads". Sports like football in the USA and horse racing were using protective headgear much earlier than cricket.

    I never wear a helmet in cricket anymore, although I used to wear one occasionally. I play a lower grade of cricket these days, but if I came across someone who I considered really quick, I'd put on a helmet. My reflexes aren't quite what they were 10 years ago.

    Anyway, this is a bit of a rambling OP to a thread on helmets in cricket.
    Yallop did wear one early, but I thought Greig wore one at an earlier date? Not sure though
    You know it makes sense.

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    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Helmet will not change how a quality player plays. For example, Lara or SRT will not change their game without helmets. But it's batsmen who are a tier or two below have benefited from it, now knowing they cannot be intimidated, hence coming on to front foot more and more.

    Pre-helmet era, hook and the pull were played getting inside the line, because if you miss it would hit you. And any top edged pulls will come on to the face. But with helmet now batsmen are hooking balls which are aimed in between their eyes (And only mortal who did that in pre-helmet era was Viv), in front of them. Now pulling results a greater arc of run scoring areas than in the past, because with the helmet, you can pull balls without getting inside the line, and now it can even be pulled through wide mid on.
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    Of course it wont change how a player plays. It gives confidence that you will be protected in those unforseen circumstances when a batsman even as good as Lara is hit by a someone quick, like Shoaib.

    Without protection a great player can have their career finsihed as may have happened even to Lara. I recall Strauss once joking after a big innings how he was clanged twice by Lee. The fact he had a helmet made it a joke. Imagine if he was hit and had his skull cracked? Instead of laughing it off he would have been effected to the point of finishing his career. Helmets save careers and preserve health. Like Monk I wonder why people were derided for even wearinmg them. Players protect their hands, arms, ribs and groins. Yet for some reason we left our heads up over the trenches.

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    Yeah, it's definitely changed techniques regarding hooking in particular; you can now keep your head in line with the ball and not have to be concerned with death. If we still didn't have them now, that technique never would have changed.

    In terms of the uptake, some older players who grew up before helmets were enforced in age group cricket have said that they find the grill impedes their vision, so that may well explain it somewhat.

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    International Coach uvelocity's Avatar
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    yeah the grille always bothered me, when i started helmets were expensive and optional. even though im a rabbit i've never been hit flush, but after 3 top edges to the face, 2 permanent fat lips and a disconnected retina i always wear a lid
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    The first protection I saw was worn by Mike Brearley. It wasn't really a helmet it was more like a crown with bits covering the area around the temples.
    Viv Richards never wore a helmet and was never hit although he liked to hook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    The first protection I saw was worn by Mike Brearley. It wasn't really a helmet it was more like a crown with bits covering the area around the temples.
    Viv Richards never wore a helmet and was never hit although he liked to hook.
    Viv Richards was hit couple of times (the most famous one being this). But if anything, that increases his stature in my eyes. Yes, he was one of the finest players of the hook shot. His genius in being able to "flat-bat" express bouncers was amazing. I remember Thommo talking about that famous hook shot that Viv played off Thommo's bowling in Barbados (considered by many to be the quickest spell ever). I recall a Bajan (spectator) saying that he has seen a lot of express pace bowling from Holding to Brett Lee, but that spell of Thommo was by far the quickest he has ever seen. I think even Colin Croft has the same opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    Helmet will not change how a quality player plays. For example, Lara or SRT will not change their game without helmets. But it's batsmen who are a tier or two below have benefited from it, now knowing they cannot be intimidated, hence coming on to front foot more and more.

    Pre-helmet era, hook and the pull were played getting inside the line, because if you miss it would hit you. And any top edged pulls will come on to the face. But with helmet now batsmen are hooking balls which are aimed in between their eyes (And only mortal who did that in pre-helmet era was Viv), in front of them. Now pulling results a greater arc of run scoring areas than in the past, because with the helmet, you can pull balls without getting inside the line, and now it can even be pulled through wide mid on.
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    Helmet will not change how a quality player plays. For example, Lara or SRT will not change their game without helmets. But it's batsmen who are a tier or two below have benefited from it, now knowing they cannot be intimidated, hence coming on to front foot more and more.

    Pre-helmet era, hook and the pull were played getting inside the line, because if you miss it would hit you. And any top edged pulls will come on to the face. But with helmet now batsmen are hooking balls which are aimed in between their eyes (And only mortal who did that in pre-helmet era was Viv), in front of them. Now pulling results a greater arc of run scoring areas than in the past, because with the helmet, you can pull balls without getting inside the line, and now it can even be pulled through wide mid on.
    Lara was hit quite a few times. Even by 'Lightening' John Morris see 2:55 Brian Lara 501* vs Durham 1994 - highest first class innings - YouTube

    As for Viv being the only one to hook balls bateen their eyes *ahem*

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    Greg Chappell criticised the excessive pace in wsc pitches in his bio. He bounced Richards and hit him on the head to make his point.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    The first protection I saw was worn by Mike Brearley. It wasn't really a helmet it was more like a crown with bits covering the area around the temples.
    Viv Richards never wore a helmet and was never hit although he liked to hook.
    Hendren's was very similar

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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    Yallop did wear one early, but I thought Greig wore one at an earlier date? Not sure though
    Yallop was the first person to wear one in a test match but others wore them in WSC before that (pretty sure Greig, Barry Richards and Asif Iqbal used to wear those motor bike helmet styled ones)

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by social View Post
    Yallop was the first person to wear one in a test match but others wore them in WSC before that (pretty sure Greig, Barry Richards and Asif Iqbal used to wear those motor bike helmet styled ones)
    Yeah that is what I thought. Yallop first in Tests

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