By CricketCountry Staff
Karachi: Jul 16, 2012
Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Rahid Latif feels the use of helmets should not be made compulsory at the senior level despite South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher’s impromptu retirement from international cricket due to a serious eye injury during team’s preparatory match at Taunton.
Post Boucher retirement, many fans and experts all over the world demanded for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a rule making the use of helmets mandatory at all levels.
Latif said, “In England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand it’s up to individual players to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not – there is no restriction at the senior level. However, for juniors, it is compulsory to wear protective gear when keeping wickets.”
Citing his own example, the former Pakistan captain added that the choice of helmets should be left at individual discretion.
“Personally speaking, I don’t ever recall wearing a helmet while keeping as I felt very uncomfortable. I do not like the idea of making it compulsory – it should be left to individual preferences to use if they feel that they are in danger of getting hurt by the ball,” said Latif. “The ICC should not make this a rule as it will affect the performance of some established wicket-keepers in big matches – I don’t think that this is a good idea.”
Latif paid tribute to South African by terming him as one of the greatest wicket-keepers of all time.
The former Pakistani cricketer was quoted by Zee News as saying, “Boucher has taken the right decision at the right time. He was an excellent wicket-keeper batsman – In fact, I would rate him amongst the top five wicketkeepers in the history of cricket.”
He added, “He was a great asset for South Africa and it will be difficult to find his replacement. Although his decision to retire has been driven by the seriousness of the injury, it is also true that great players also know when it’s time to retire and move on.
“Having said that, this is a big decision for Boucher and will have a great impact on the fortunes of the South African team.”