There are recorded instances of cricketers using 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 which was a customised motorcycle 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 popularised it in Test cricket. Helmets began to be widely worn thereafter.
The last batsmen at the highest (Test match) level to never wear a helmet throughout his career was Viv Richards, who retired from the international game in 1991.
Modern day cricket helmets
Materials used for making cricket helmets are impact resistance materials like ABS Plastic, Fibreglass, carbon fibre, titanium, steel and high density foam etc. Main parts of a cricket helmets are grill (made with steel, titanium or carbon fibre), chin strap, inner foam material, outer impact resistant shell etc.
As of 2017, the ICC has refused to pass laws requiring the wearing of helmets, rather leaving the decision to each test nation to decide for themselves. However, although it is not obligatory for a batsman to wear a helmet, should he chose to do so, the helmet must comply with specific safety requirements, a rule all the test playing nations have agreed to.
In first class cricket, as of 2016, the England and Wales Cricket Board requires all batsmen, wicketkeepers and fielders closer than 8 yards from the wicket to wear helmets. This is mandatory even when facing medium-pace and spin bowling. New Zealand Cricket and the Board of Control for Cricket in India do not require batsmen to wear helmets.
Opposition from players
Many players refused to wear helmets, either believing that they obstructed their vision when batting, or, just as in the similar debate in ice hockey, feeling helmets were unmanly, a view held by many spectators. Englishman Dennis Amiss was the first player to wear a helmet in the modern game, during a World Series Cricket match, for which both the crowd and other players mocked him. Australian captain Graham Yallop was booed when he wore one in a 1978 match against the West Indies (the first time a helmet was worn in a test match) and West Indian captain Viv Richards viewed such protection as cowardly. India captain Sunil Gavaskar believed that helmets slowed down a batsman's reflexes and refused to wear one. In more recent times, many batsmen have felt that modern helmet designs have become increasingly obstructive. Most notably, England captain Alastair Cook for a time refused to wear a new helmet complying with ICC safety regulations since he felt it was distracting and uncomfortable. His England teammate Jonathan Trott also refused for similar reasons, and teammate Nick Compton (a close friend of Phillip Hughes) felt that the new regulations were overzealous.
Cricket helmet manufacturers
Many professional cricket players choose to wear the Masuri cricket helmet with the brand being worn by approximately 70% of players competing in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Masuri are also the original inventors of the first neck protector, an additional piece of protective equipment that attaches to the back of the cricket helmet, when they launched their StemGuard in 2015.
- Batting helmet for baseball or softball
- Briggs, Simon. "Amiss unearths helmet that changed the game". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "The bravery of the batsman". The Economist. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
until the late 1970s helmets were unheard of; batsmen wore nothing to protect their noggins except a cloth cap. When they began to creep into the game—Dennis Amiss, an English batsman, is usually cited as the first to wear one regularly during the 1978 World Series Cricket tournament—they were essentially adapted motorcycle helmets. Batsmen who donned them were sometimes mocked as cowards.
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- "Cricket is a game but life isn't: BCCI must learn from the past to make helmets compulsory at all levels". Firstpost.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Linden, Julian. "Cricket-Batsman's death turns attention on helmets". Uk.reuters.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "Gavaskar didn't wear helmets because of reading habit". India Today. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Selvey, Mike (15 April 2016). "Alastair Cook treads a fine line with his batting helmet stubbornness - Mike Selvey". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Hoult, Nick (18 April 2016). "Jonathan Trott joins Alastair Cook in rejecting new safety approved helmet". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
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