Chris Nash © Getty Images
Chris Nash © Getty Images

Sussex opening batsman Chris Nash has said that the new helmet mandated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) proved to be a blessing following a blow to the face that could have resulted in a broken nose. Nash said that the new helmet, which ECB have insisted upon, meant that a ball that could have sneaked through the old design resulted in no more than a scratch. Nash scored a century and a 90 in the match, but could have had unpleasant memories following the incident early in the second innings. READ: Alastair Cook refuses to wear better designed helmet in County cricket

Essex pacer Jamie Porter bowled a bouncer that struck Nash on the helmet. Speaking to cricket.com.au, Nash said, “I think [the ball] would have gone through [the old helmet]. These ones don’t move and they have a much smaller gap, they used to have a much bigger gap. I think it would have gone through and I wouldn’t be looking as beautiful as I am tonight. I’m pretty sure it would have broken my nose. To be hit slap bang there and to carry on, I think I was pretty fortunate. All credit to [the new helmets], they’re very, very good and I’m pleased I could carry on.” READ: Alastair Cook hits ton for Essex against Gloucestershire

Interestingly, England Test skipper Alastair Cook flouted the ECB’s regulations by wearing an old-style helmet in his first match of the County Championship season. Cook scored a century in the game but was pulled up by ECB officials for not abiding by their new helmet rule. Cook changed to the new helmet for the match against Sussex, but was dismissed early in the first innings.