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Umpires to be issued helmets for World T20

January 29, 2016 10:26 IST

We've seen some umpires being hit in recent times and it's becoming quite dangerous, certainly in T20 and ODIs: Kettleborough

umpires

IMAGE: Umpires Simon Fry and Richard Kettleborough walk out to the middle during the third ODI between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 17, 2016. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

The International Cricket Council will issue all umpires with helmets in the upcoming World T20 tournament in India as part of a growing trend towards the increased safety of officials in the sport.

The move comes on the back of two umpires being hospitalised in the past two months after being struck by deflected straight hits from batsmen.

In December, Australian John Ward was hospitalised after being hit on the head during a Ranji Trophy match in India, while English umpire Richard Kettleborough received a nasty blow to the shin while officiating an ODI between Australia and India in Canberra on January 20, spending the night in hospital before being cleared to fly to Sydney for the following match.

As a precautionary measure umpire Ward had worn a helmet in One-Day International matches between India and Australia. 

"In the last three or four years, the fitness and the strength of the players has increased dramatically, and the bats are so much better than ever before, so the guys are hitting the ball a lot harder," Kettleborough told cricket.com.au.

"We've seen some umpires being hit in recent times and it's becoming quite dangerous, certainly in T20 and one-day cricket especially.

"I know for the T20 World Cup we're all going to be issued helmets. We're not obliged to wear them, it's totally up to us, but it's certainly something I'll be taking on board and thinking about,” the English umpire added.

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