Hampshire helmet-maker seeks more footage of Hughes blow

The differences between Masuri's Original Test and Vision Series helmets
The differences between Masuri's Original Test and Vision Series helmets
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Masuri are seeking footage of the life-threatening injury to former Hampshire batsman Phil Hughes.

The Winchester-based helmet manufacturer want to gather as much information about the blow which struck Australia opener in a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney.

However, from the details currently available, it appears the ball hit the South Australia left-hander behind the grille and under the helmet itself.

A statement said: ‘The thoughts of everyone at Masuri are with Phil Hughes and his family.

‘We are actively seeking as much TV and video footage of the incident as possible, to be able to see more conclusively exactly where the player was hit.’

Hughes was wearing the Masuri’s Original Test model, which has since been superseded by the Vision Series helmet.

But there is no evidence the incident could have been avoided, regardless of the type of protective equipment he was wearing.

Masuri said: ‘From the footage and pictures currently available, it appears Phil Hughes was struck by the ball to the rear of the grille and below the back of the shell – missing his Masuri Original Test model helmet.

‘This is a vulnerable area of the head and neck that helmets cannot fully protect, while enabling batsmen to have full and proper movement.

‘The newly-developed Masuri Vision Series helmet, which supersedes the 2013 helmet worn by Phil Hughes, does afford batsmen extra protection in this region and still allows comfortable movement.’

Masuri managing director Sam Miller added: ‘Helmet manufacturers are constantly developing their products to make them safer.

‘And we work continuously with the governing authorities worldwide to reduce the risk of injury to players.’

Hughes is currently in a critical condition in intensive care in a Sydney hospital.

According to Cricket Australia he was ‘struck on the back, lower left side of the head when he turned away as he followed through with an attempted pull-shot to a regulation short-pitched delivery from young NSW quick Sean Abbott’.

Former Yorkshire batsman Chris Taylor, who now runs leading retailer All Rounder Cricket, said: ‘I know cricket manufacturers and helmet manufacturers are working all the time to improve the safety of helmets.

‘And I know a new British safety standard has been launched in the UK for the 2015 season where helmets have to have fixed grills.

‘I guess it’s part of the job, at some stage somebody is going to hit on the head.

‘The helmet doesn’t protect all of the head, there’s a gap for your eyes, there’s a gap where your neck is, so you have to expect some blows at some stage and this is very unfortunate for Phil Hughes.’

Taylor insisted simply extending the helmet so it covers the neck is impractical.

He said: ‘Once the helmet starts trying to cover the neck as well, if that’s where Phil Hughes has been hit, it’s going to restrict your movement as a batsman.

‘You need to be able to move quickly, so if it’s restricting your head and your neck, we could get to the stage where you just wear full body armour because at the end of the day you can get a blow on your chest that can cause you serious problems.

‘My understanding is it’s hit him at the worst possible place at the wrong angle and it is extremely unlucky.’

England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) guidelines stipulate helmets must be worn by all batsman under the age of 18, while senior players rarely revert to age-old traditions of batting in caps.

Taylor insists all the relevant bodies are working hard on safety but from time to time accidents will happen.

‘I work closely with some of the helmet companies and they are always working, they have to achieve this British safety standard,’ he said.

‘There comes a stage when you can’t protect any more of the body without being unable to move.

‘I know the ECB has taken steps forward but it’s part of the game but you’ve got to be able to move so what lengths do you go to in order to cover a person’s body?’