3:21 am - Sunday November 8, 2015

Injured Australian cricketer Phil Hughes was using an older model helmet, say equipment manufacturers

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Hughes, who is fighting for his life in a Sydney hospital, was wearing Masuri’s ‘Original Test’ helmet, which offers less protection than the newer ‘Vision Series’ model, Masuri managing director Sam Miller told British media.
Australia cricketer Phillip Hughes was wearing an older model helmet when he suffered a serious head injury on Tuesday, and the latest version released about a year ago might have offered better protection, the equipment manufacturer has said.

Hughes, who is fighting for his life in a Sydney hospital, was wearing Masuri’s ‘Original Test’ helmet, which offers less protection than the newer ‘Vision Series’ model, Masuri managing director Sam Miller told British media.

“There’s a number of differences (between the models) but with regards to Phil’s particular injury, the main difference is we have more coverage with the grill behind the ear and the back of the helmet is dropped down slightly,” he told broadcaster Sky Sports.

“The third difference is the grill is slightly further away from the head, so had the ball made any impact on that grill it might have deflected and helped but we can’t tell from the footage whether that would have happened.

“We’re going to need to talk to physios, medical staff and see where the impact point was.”

Batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Tuesday, Hughes was struck by a short delivery from fast bowler Sean Abbott.

Also Read: Philip Hughes continues to fight for life, still critical

It was unclear from footage just where the ball struck Hughes, but Miller said it appeared the batsman was hit on the back of the head, just beneath the helmet and behind his ear.

He said the difference between the new and older helmets’ protection at the back was ‘a matter of centimetres’ and that batsmen needed a certain amount of free space in that region to allow them to move and bat with comfort.

“This (newer) helmet’s been out about a year, eight of the 11 England cricket team choose to wear that. That’s all out of choice, not sponsorship, because they know it’s safer,” he added.

The 25-year-old Hughes remains in an induced coma in intensive care after emergency surgery and his condition is not expected to become clear for another 12-36 hours.

Spotlight: Fellow fast-bowlers rush to Sean Abbott’s defence after Phil Hughes’ incident

The incident has shocked the global cricket community and provided a reminder of the dangers inherent in the so-called ‘gentlemen’s game’.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association, the body representing first class players in England and Wales, said there would always be an ‘element of risk’ in cricket.

“The balls are hard and they travel fast. No design will eliminate risk completely,” PCA chief Angus Porter said in comments published by Sky Sports.

“While we haven’t had life-threatening injuries for some time in this country we have had a number of serious injuries.”

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