Phil Hughes effect: New helmet to protect players

Suresh Raina is always game for some fun. On even of India’s match against Ireland, he took a liking to R Ashwin’s helmet. Strange obsession, you thought. After helping the off-spinner don his headgear at the nets, Raina kept tapping the back of his mate’s brand new equipment.

At first sight, you wondered what he was up to. But a closer look revealed that Raina was only doing what anybody would.

Enter Ali Cheyne, the Winchester-based sales manager of the British cricket helmet manufacturer Masuri. “That’s our new helmet,” he says. “Shikhar Dhawan and Umesh Yadav are also using these,” he adds.

What’s the big deal? Well, here’s the story.

A few days after the death of Australian batsman Phil Hughes, the gutted folks at Masuri decided they had to do something about it. And so they did. After all, Hughes was one of their clients.

The result: a helmet designed to protect the back of the neck — where Hughes was hit — from such deadly impact. The helmet donned by Ashwin and the others has, what Cheyne calls, a StemGuard, a clip-on device made from plastic and dense foam. The foam is similar to that between the layers of a helmet shell, and is the key component in reducing the impact of a hit. The idea behind the arrangement of the foam and plastic — in the shape of a honeycomb — is to ensure the batsman’s movement isn’t hindered while providing as much protection as the shell of the helmet.

“It’s been a little over three months since Phil passed away. And we at Masuri have wasted no time in developing a new helmet with the StemGuard technology. We have tested these in England. And we are glad that a few players have agreed to try it on.

Kumar Sangakkara used it against Australia in Sydney on Sunday. We are waiting to hear from him and the Indian players soon. After that, we will start mass production.

“The biggest advantage of the new helmet is that it does not hamper the batsman’s neck movement. In fact, the batsman can’t even feel the StemGuard. However, if and when the ball hits the StemGuard, it withstands the impact before letting the batsman know he’s been hit. Hit by plastic-foam, of course,” explains Cheyne, who is joined by business partner Atul Srivastava.

Bangalore-based Srivastava, the managing partner of Gaames Unlimited, happens to be the player agent of Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Yadav and Stuart Binny. He is also the sole marketer of Masuri helmets in India. Cheyne reveals that the new helmet costs around 190 pounds in the United Kingdom. Srivastava is yet to arrive at a price for the Indian market.


WHAT IT PROTECTS: Back of the neck

HOW: The helmet has a ‘StemGuard’, a clip-on device made from plastic and dense foam, which reduces the impact of a hit The arrangement of the foam and plastic, in the shape of a honeycomb, ensures the batsman’s movement is not hindered

Posted by on March 11, 2015. Filed under Sports World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.