PRETORIA (Reuters) – Australia’s wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis says he will have no problem wearing a neck protector on his helmet from next month despite not using them previously.
Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Thursday that all their players will have to wear neck protectors on helmets when facing fast or medium pace bowling from October.
Inglis said he would have to get used to a piece of equipment he had previously disliked.
“If they’re mandatory, I’m just going to have to get used to it and start training with it and obviously playing with it from day one,” he told a press conference on the eve of Australia’s One Day International against South Africa in Pretoria on Friday.
CA had recommended the use of neck protectors since the death of Phillip Hughes in 2014 but a number of top batsmen, including David Warner and Steve Smith, have resisted wearing them.
They will now have to wear them from Oct. 1 when playing at home or in international cricket overseas or face sanctions.
“I haven’t worn one previously, just purely because of the fact when they first came out, and people started wearing them. I didn’t like the way it sort of like rested on my neck. It felt in my stance that it sort of took my focus away,” said Inglis.
CA’s Head of Cricket Operations & Scheduling Peter Roach said in a statement earlier that protecting the head and neck was extremely important.
“The neck protector product has come a long way in recent years and the decision to make them mandatory comes off the back of a lot of advice and consultation with a wide range of experts and stakeholders,” Roach said.
The mandate comes a week after Australia all-rounder Cameron Green was struck by a Kagiso Rabada bouncer on the neck guard fixed to his helmet and was substituted out of the first ODI against South Africa with concussion.
Green has missed the subsequent two ODIs and captain Mitchell Marsh said he was not sure whether he would be available for selection for Friday’s fourth game of the five-match series.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)