Phil Hughes was hit by a bouncer during a Shield game on Tuesday © Getty Images
Phil Hughes was hit by a bouncer during a Shield game on Tuesday © Getty Images

Nov 25, 2014

The manufacturer of the helmet worn by Phil Hughes said on Tuesday he was not wearing their most up-to-date model after the Australian batsman was left fighting for his life having been knocked out by a bouncer. Hughes, aged 25, who was pressing for a Test recall, crashed to the ground unconscious after the heavy blow to the lower head and was rushed to hospital from the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Television images showed the helmeted Hughes, who had scored a composed 63 for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield game, standing dazed before going down face-first following the rising delivery from New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott. The initial consensus from leading cricketers and experienced observers was that Hughes had been the victim of a freak accident, having apparently been struck on a part of the neck not normally covered by a batting helmet.

Masuri, the UK-based manufacturer of the helmet worn by Hughes and one of the leading suppliers of protective headgear to many of the world’s top batsmen, said in a statement they wished him a “full and speedy recovery”. Their statement said they were seeking as much footage of the incident as possible to be able to see more conclusively exactly where Hughes had been hit.

“From the footage and pictures currently available to Masuri, it appears that Phil Hughes was struck by the ball to the rear of the grille and below the back of the shell, missing his Masuri Original Test model helmet,” the company’s statement said. “This is a vulnerable area of the head and neck that helmets cannot fully protect, while enabling batsmen to have full and proper movement.”

However, Masuri’s statement added: “The newly-developed Masuri Vision Series helmet, which supersedes the 2013 helmet worn by Phil Hughes, does afford batsmen extra protection in this region — and still allows comfortable movement.”

Masuri managing director Sam Miller said: “The thoughts of everyone at Masuri are with Phil Hughes and his family. “Helmet manufacturers are constantly developing their products to make them safer. We work continuously with the governing authorities worldwide to reduce the risk of injury to players.”

A spokesman for Masuri said the new Vision Series helmet had gone on sale in the UK in August 2014. Peter Wright, the managing director of UK-based cricket specialists Gunn and Moore, whose range of equipment now includes helmets, said that, based on the initial footage he had seen, Hughes had been unlucky.

“It’s a fairly difficult part of the head to protect, the neck area needs to be flexible,” Wright told Sky Sports. “I’m not saying it’s impossible, because things are moving so quickly in sports protection, but hopefully someone will be able to look at it.”

Complete coverage of Phil Hughes’ head injury

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos