It is so important to purchase the correct cricket clothing and equipment if you want to enjoy the sport. Protection is of paramount importance. Over the years, England cricket clothing has changed dramatically. As trends and technology have progressed, cricket clothing and equipment has become more advanced, with ultimate protection and comfort guaranteed. This means that people can now enjoy the sport without their equipment getting in the way. Keeping that in mind, in this post we are going to take a look at the evolution of the cricket helmet in particular.
It wasn’t until 17th March 1978 that the use of a cricket helmet was first recorded. It was Australian cricketer Graham Neil Yallop who used this protective gear when he was playing against the West Indies at Bridgetown. However, as time passed, cricketers all around the globe started to realise the importance of wearing a cricket helmet. In the present day, even the wicket keeper and close in fielder will use a helmet to save themselves from injuries. The importance of this has been highlighted, as there have been deaths caused by those who have been hit by a cricket ball. This includes the death of Pakistan’s Abdul Aziz who was killed while playing in the Quaid-e-Azam final in 1589-59, as well as the death of George Summers of Nottinghamshire, who was hit by a cricket ball while batting and died in 1970.
While a cricket helmet was not officially used until the late 70s, there were other forms of head protection utilised prior to this. Batsmen started to use everything from padded caps to scarves to towels to protect themselves, especially as the West Indies bowlers were getting a reputation for the pace at which they bowled. In the 1930s an English cricketer called Patsy Hendren was the first individual to use a specially designed protective cap, and then Mike Brearley – another English player – followed suit with his take on the protective headgear. The headgear used by Patsy Hendren was designed by his wife. It was a three-peaked hat that had rubber padding. This was wrapped over his temples and around his head to protect him from short balls and bouncers from a West Indies attack.
You would have expected the cricket world to catch on, yet while there were a few more attempts to design effective protection, nothing really took off. For instance, another individual who started to use his own protective headgear was Sunil Gavaskar, however, what he designed cannot be referred to as a helmet. Tony Greig and Dennis Amiss both took steps to protect their head, nevertheless, they looked as if they were going to ride a motorcycle rather than play cricket. It was during the World Series Cricket (WSC) in 1977 that Amiss debuted his fibre-glass motorcycle helmet. One of the most notable features of this helmet was the visor, which actually stopped Amiss from getting his teeth knocked out when South Australian pace-man Wayne Prior delivered a ball.
As mentioned, it was not until 1978 when the first recorded use of an actual cricket helmet occurred. However, these helmets were not without their problems, and as such they have developed extensively over time. The early version of the cricket helmet had a lot of issues in terms of ventilation. It generated too much heat, making it uncomfortable for players. The initial versions also had problems in terms of vision obstructions and weight, which made it extremely difficult for cricketers to play the game effectively, and needless to say, when you cannot play the game properly, further dangers arise. A lot of cricketers reported heat related stress while many noticed that their reaction times were a lot slower.
Nevertheless, you no longer need to worry about these issues, as the advancements in technology have led to some key innovations in the industry. This is because modern cricket helmets are now made from either man-made fibres or moulded plastics that are set in resin. Improved comfort and a better fit are assured. The helmets are also lightweight yet provide ultimate protection; this ensures that they are easy to wear and play in, yet protection is not negatively impacted, in fact, it is enhanced.
You have a wide variety of cricket helmets to choose from nowadays, which means that there is a lot to consider when purchasing one from any world cricket store. You have a whole host of different features available to you, meaning you have to take a look at everything form the chinstrap and padding to the grill and shell. The chinstrap is vital; as it makes sure your helmet stays in place and that any impact doesn’t simply push the grill into your face. The padding is just as important because it helps to ensure a tight yet comfortable fit while also serving as a third layer of shock absorption, which means the cricket ball impact is minimised. The grill provides protection while making certain that vision is not impaired, as was the case with the earlier helmets, and the shell offers maximum shock absorption and impact protection.
Other aspects that need to be carefully considered include the size of the helmet and the materials used. You need to get the size right if you are to benefit from ultimate protection. The chinstrap must fit on your chin, not under it, and there should be no movement of your head in the helmet while it should fit firmly on your head too. There are many materials to choose from, including fibreglass, carbon fibre, ABS plastic, steel, titanium and high-density foam. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with all options – it is all about finding what works for you.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why a cricket helmet is so important and how this form of headgear has advanced over the years. A lot of people are shocked to discover how long it took for the cricket helmet to truly take over, but now it is certainly here to stay.