Umpire Abood wears helmet for protection in Big Bash match

Melbourne, Dec 30 (IANS) Umpire Gerard Abood became the first Australian on-field official to wear a helmet while umpiring in a Big Bash League (BBL) cricket game where the Melbourne Renegades met the Perth Scorchers at the Etihad Stadium here on Wednesday.

He wore a black batting helmet from Masuri’s Vision Series model which is worn by the majority of Australian players. Abood said he has been wanting to wear a head protection for some time now due to the increasing power in modern cricket, where the bats are getting heavier by the day.

“I’ve had close shaves in the past, a couple have been real tight and they weight on your mind,” Abood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“I thought, ‘What needs to happen before we do put one on?’ I’d rather put one on just before I get hit than just after. The T20 game has evolved to the stage where guys are practising specifically whacking balls as hard as they can and it’s just coming off faster and faster.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s just reached the point where it makes sense on every level, we’re only 24 yards from the bat and if it’s coming back at us pretty quickly there’s not a helluva lot of time to move,” he said.

Abood decided to wear the protection after his compatriot John Ward was struck on the head during a Ranji Trophy fixture in India between Punjab and Tamil Nadu on December 1. Ward is still recovering from concussion.

In November last year, umpire and former captain of Israel’s national team, Hillel Awaskar died after being hit by a ball during a match in Ashdod.

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