In the sport of cricket, batsmen often wear a helmet to protect themselves from injury or concussion by the cricket ball, which is very hard and can be bowled to them at speeds over 90 miles per hour (140 km/h).
There are recorded instances of cricketers using towels, scarves and padded caps to protect themselves throughout cricket history. Patsy Hendren was one of the first to use a self designed protective hat in the 1930s. Helmets were not in common use until the 1970s. The first helmets were seen in World Series Cricket, with Dennis Amiss being the first player to consistently wear a helmet.
Mike Brearley was another player who wore his own design. Tony Greig was of the opinion that they would make cricket more dangerous by encouraging bowlers to bounce the batsmen. Graham Yallop of Australia was the first to wear a protective helmet to a test match on 17 March, 1978, when playing against West Indies at Bridgetown. Later Dennis Amiss of England popularized it in test cricket.
Helmets began to be widely worn thereafter. Nowadays it is almost unheard of for a professional cricketer to face a fast bowler without a helmet. Some batsmen prefer not to wear a helmet when facing spin bowling. In under-19 cricket they are compulsory for all batsmen and any fielder within 15 yards (14 m) of the bat.
Cricket helmets cover the whole of the skull, and have a grill or perspex visor to protect the face.
In 2008, Ayrtek released a new design of helmet that featured in the Standford T20 tournament with Middlesex County Cricket Club players Tim Murtagh and Stephen Finn. This helmet design is widely regarded[according to whom?] as the safest and lightest on the market due to its 100% carbon fibre and Kevlar shell. The shell is design to deflect cricket balls as well as shield the wearer from impact, and its liner includes an inflatable element to tightly fit the helmet to its wearer's head. This failed in 2014 when Stuart Broad suffered a cut to his nose after being hit in the head by a ball from India's Varun Aaron. The ball went through the gap between the grill and the helmet, forcing Broad to retire hurt and miss the rest of the test match.
Fielders who are positioned very close to the batsman (e.g. silly point or short leg) often wear a helmet and shin guards.
- Batting helmet for baseball or softball
- Briggs, Simon. "Amiss unearths helmet that changed the game". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "England opener Michael Carberry's space-age helmet turns heads". The Daily Telegraph (Australia) (News Corp Australia). 22 November 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.