Cricket Australia, in its new guidelines for playing season 2023-24 has made it mandatory for home players to wear neck protectors. The new rule will be getting enforced from October 1 and is applicable for every Australian player in both domestic and international cricket.
It was also laid out in the regulations, that if anyone does not wear them while batting, they are open to sanctions following the breach of CA’s code of conduct under clothing and equipment regulations.
What exactly are neck protectors?
Neck Protectors, as the name suggests are something like a cover-up that protects a player’s neck and head area. They are made up of lightweight foam and help to minimise contacts with sensitive and vulnerable areas.
This purpose of covering neck and head area from injuries is generally not served by helmets. Instead, these are fitted to the rear of batting helmets.
When do batters need to wear them?
Especially when facing fast and medium pace bowlings, batsmen must wear them in all competitions, mainly domestic ones.
However, it is also compulsory for home ground cricketers to wear neck guards in international cricket even if not enforced by international umpires, following which they will have to face sanctions if they don’t.
Reason behind the New Rule
CA has pressed on the need to wear neck protectors since the tragic death of Australian player Philip Hughes. It also emphasised that several players have been reluctant to use them. Among those, two of them are Steve Smith and David Warner.
Smith and Warner have resisted using neck protectors since their introduction in 2015. For Smith, they made him claustrophobic and he felt like he was stuck in an MRI machine. He also added that ‘If I wear and practise with them more, I am sure I will get used to it’.
Peter Coach, CA’s Head of Cricket Operations and Scheduling propounded on the need how important it is to protect the neck and head in a sport like Cricket.
Several other rules and regulations have been introduced in the new guidelines by Cricket AustraliaAustralia alongside its mandate to make neck guards compulsory.
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