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Friday, November 28, 2014

some Cricketing injuries - Sandip Patil ear and Stuart Broad nose .. helmet !!

It will take dedication, time and patience to get a six pack.  The aspirant needs to do  two things: lose fat and build muscle.  Dieting and exercising are both important.   In the film ‘Vedi’ directed by Prabhu Deva featuring Vishal and Sameera Reddy in the lead roles – comedian Vivek will show-off as a muscular man.  He will use air balloons inserted under this dress to make appear muscular.  Once in a park, children will pull out the balloons – then Vivek will fill fresh balloons with helium gas – -  and would go up in the air ! .

Phil Hughes is no more – felled by a bouncer not to regain conscious at all. There is much talk about the helmet, the type worn – and whether something else could have saved him.  Once former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. McGain said that he heard the technology and  liked the idea that it was safer- inviting comments that it resembled ‘Robocap’. Helmet safety  is of importance throughout.  There are some reports that Masuri, the manufacturers  have said that Hughes's accident was unusual and nothing on the market now would likely have prevented it.

A number of players, including West Indies batting great Brian Lara, say the incident was a rare but unavoidable reminder that the game is a dangerous one. Others say that more could be done in a sport that became popular thanks to English aristocrats in the 17th century but only introduced helmets, without enforcement, in the 1970s. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the British Standards Institution (BCI) agreed new helmet safety guidelines a year ago, the first revision of the code in 15 years.

The list of injured is too long – from Anshuman Gaekwad, Mohinder, Ewan Chatfield, Rick Darling to Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson of recent times – many when wearing a helmet.  Sandip Patil made his debut at Chepauk in that Pongal test in 1979 against Pakis –  even before his first International debut, there was craze and we anxiously supported him – he made a little contribution in that innings but best remembered for that tour of Australia in 1981.  In the Test at Sydney he was struck by Len Pascoe and left bleeding in the ear.  One version of Pascoe puts that he was wearing a proper helmet and collapsed on the blow.  But a report in the Hindu reports that he was hit by Rodney Hogg on the neck.  He retired for tea at 65. During the tea break, the legendary Gary Sobers chided Patil for wearing helmet. “You are batting so well, why do you need the helmet, Sir Gary told me.” Flattered by Sobers’s praise, Patil discarded the helmet, wore a floppy hat, and soon came to grief, hit by Len Pascoe.  Pascoe reportedly visited him in the hospital.  Patil, asked to bat in the second innings by skipper Sunil Gavaskar, was greeted by a bouncer from Dennis Lillee. Two weeks later, with a helmet on, Patil hit a spectacular 174 in the Adelaide Test.

In the recent Investec Test Series at Old Trafford, Stuart Broad retired hurt after a rare injury.  A rising delivery from Varun Aaron went straight through the grille of Broad's helmet and hit him on the bridge of the nose, immediately drawing blood. The incident occurred in the first over of the afternoon session of the third day of the match. England had resumed on 325 for eight - a lead of 173 - and Broad had immediately set about accelerating progress by hooking Aaron for successive sixes. India lost the match despite Broad being  not available and Jimmy Anderson unwell. Broad was unavailable to collect his man of the match award for his first-innings figures of six for 25. He messaged that he was viewing the proceedings rom the hospital bed.    It was a nasty blow, fracturing nose through the grill of the helmet.

Broad was wearing the AdiPower PremierTek helmet made by Ayrtek Cricket, which stands out for its ‘unusual’ design. The Ayrtek helmets have made their name over the years for their Air Cushioning Impact System (A.C.I.S.) and odd shape. Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Carberry and Stuart Broad are some cricketers who have preferred the Ayrtek model over the more conventional one.  Its manufacturers had explained that  a 90-degree angle is going to cause flexion of the peak and hence made an odd shape. 

The delivery from Aaron remained lodged inside the helmet, along with Broad’s bloodied features. The ball sneaked through the side of the helmet, ricocheted off the peak and hit Broad in the face. Rahul Dravid, while commenting Cricinfo, mentioned how Broad’s helmet lacked that ‘extra grille’ which other modern helmets have.  In this type of helmet, when a ball hits this new kind of helmet, it is deflected. The force of the impact is diffused, just as the air rushes past the head of the helmeted cyclist.

Its other main feature is that the wearer pumps it with air just before going in to bat, pushing a rubber button about fifteen times to inflate it so that the helmet fits the head exactly. The helmet would stay in its place when hit.  Helmet is a requirement not only when playing against fast bowlers – against spinners too, when players sweep, reverse sweep or a top edge of a bat could hurt badly. 

But whether such modern gadgets are available and are used by lesser fortunate batsman playing in local matches remains a moot Q ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Nov. 2014.


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