Former England cricket captain Michael Atherton says the death of Phillip Hughes will “shake” batsmen into recognising the importance of safety.
Hughes died today at the age of 25, just two days after being struck on the head by a bouncer while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Former Lancashire opener Atherton said: “It’s an incredibly safe game but I think this will shake batsmen slightly out of what might have been complacency.
“I wore the same helmet for 10 years. I never changed it. I didn’t give it much thought really. If there is that kind of complacency that I was guilty of, then I think people will be shaken out of that.
“I’ll be making sure my 12-year-old boy’s helmet is up to scratch and the latest model. But fundamentally it’s a safe game with risk attached.”
Another former England captain, Nasser Hussain, added on Sky Sports News: “You have to think about ways of improving the helmet all the time, balancing protection with being able to move and see the ball.
“Putting bits on the neck...is an area we’ve never thought about. We were always told to protect the temple but were never really concerned about the neck.
“The instinct to get out of the way of a bouncer is to turn away - this will send shock waves through every cricketer.”
Shaun Udal, who played alongside Hughes with Middlesex in 2009, said on Sky Sports News: “Unfortunately the ball missed his helmet - if it had hit it he might still be with us.
“This highlights the need to keep progressing and moving forward. In the helmet industry this is being done.”
Hughes was wearing a Masuri helmet at the time of the incident and the company issued a short statement following the death of the 25-year-old Australian.
It read: “Masuri would like to send sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Phillip Hughes over their great loss.
“Everyone at Masuri is truly saddened by this event.”