Cricket Bytes

What is a neck guard in cricket?

Cricket can be physically demanding and sometimes considered a dangerous sport owing to the hard ball. The fast bowlers deliver the balls at a blistering pace and hence, there is a possibility of accidents during the passage of play. Safety is considered the top-most priority, which is why the sport requires different types of equipment.

The players who are involved in the game need to use different safety equipment based on their roles. For instance, a batsman uses protective gloves to safeguard their hands from impact. Besides that, the batting gloves offer a better grip on the bat. Batsmen also wear leg guards to safeguard their legs from the hard cricket leather-covered ball.

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On the other end of the spectrum, batsmen and wicket-keepers wear helmets to protect their heads from any injury. For the record, helmets were not in common use until the late ’70s when the use of helmets in cricket came to prominence in reciprocation to several incidents of batters being seriously injured by fast deliveries.

What is a neck guard in helmet?

The cricket fraternity is well aware of the thigh guard and abdominal guard. It is nothing but a protective gear worn by batters to protect the thighs and groin area. Recently, a neck guard gained prominence in the sport and the fans are curious to know the equipment. Let’s learn about the equipment in detail.

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A neck guard, also known as a stem guard is a protective piece of equipment that is designed to protect the player’s neck and throat from injury. It is cognizance of the fact that batters are more likely to get injured while facing fast bowlers. There is a huge possibility of fast bowlers delivering bouncers and the batters need to be watchful.

Why is neck guard important in cricket?

A neck guard is more like an additional safety feature that is fastened to the back of a cricket helmet. The main objective of a neck guard is to minimise the risk of serious injury caused by a hard ball striking the neck or throat area of a batsman or a wicketkeeper. Neck guards were designed in the wake of Phillip Hughes’ death.

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Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to make neck guards compulsory for Australian and domestic players from October 1. As a result, Australian batters will have to wear neck guards on their helmets when facing fast or medium-pacers for the 2023/24 season. However, the rule doesn’t apply to facing spinners, wicketkeepers and close-in fielders.

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