Legendary Sachin Tendulkar believes wearing a helmet should be made mandatory at all stages for batsmen in professional cricket. The 'Master Blaster' requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to consider this as a priority, citing a recent instance in the IPL 2020 stress home the point.
In Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) fixture against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on October 24 in Dubai, a throw from the point region struck Vijay Shankar on the grill of his helmet very hard when he went across for the single.
The impact of the blow shook Shankar as he immediately went down on the ground and was attended by SRH's physios while being grouped around by KXIP fielders.
Amid scares of concussion, the all-rounder was thankfully able to recover and even featured in his team's next fixture two days later.
Yet, the incident was reflective of how vulnerable cricketers are of head injuries in a sport like cricket and should definitely be taken into account when the game's custodians next sit to discuss its rules and playing conditions.
"The game has become faster but is it getting safer? asked Tendulkar in a tweet on Tuesday (November 3). "Recently we witnessed an incident (Shankar) which could’ve been nasty."
"Be it a spinner or pacer, wearing a HELMET should be MANDATORY for batsmen at professional levels. Request @icc to take this up on priority."
After years of studying concussion effects and trialling methods to counter it in first-class cricket, ICC last year introduced concussion substitutes in Test cricket. But the laws on wearing the helmet must be revisited.
In 2017, the governing body made it necessary to compliment the helmet with greater safety, hoping that the area behind the ears will be covered as much as possible. However, wearing a helmet wasn't made mandatory.