Buying A Cricket Helmet – A Complete Guide

Cricket is one of the oldest sports in the world. The sport is widely played in the Indian subcontinent and is big in England, some African countries, and Oceania. Being called a gentleman’s game due to its lack of physical and roughness, the game was mainly popularized by the British in their colonies.

Among the many pieces of equipment used in the sport, the cricket helmet is one of the most important. It is a must in the cricket kit at all times. The helmet is worn by players playing at various positions, such as batsmen, wicketkeepers, and close-in fielders.

Purpose of an ideal cricket helmet:

The helmet’s primary purpose is to prevent head injuries that might come towards the cricketers. The importance of the cricket helmets is felt by players being positioned at silly points, batting, or being close to the stumps while wicketkeeping. The risks of sustaining any severe head and, to some extent, the neck is drastically reduced; therefore, the helmets must be up to the mark of international cricketing standards. And every cricket helmet ever manufactured should serve this purpose to the best of its abilities without any complacency.

Need of an ideal helmet:

A batsman has to put all his focus on the small-sized ball while batting, and this can be a challenging task in itself. Imagine having a significant weight on the top of your head and your vision being blocked to a certain extent. All this can cause a distraction to the batters, and they may not be able to perform to the best of their abilities. Therefore it is imperative that the helmet chosen has the right kind of weight, balance, and range of vision. Most importantly, the quality differentiates an ideal helmet from a bad one.

While facing the duke and kookaburra ball coming to the batters at 140 kph, the batsman needs to be sure of the protective gear being worn by them. Not only the batter but with the uncertainties of the pitch, the ball can take off at any time from anywhere, and with that pace, it can be really hard to react. Hence the purpose of the helmet becomes that much more valuable.

Dangers of faulty helmets:

Some of the injuries that could take place if the player is not wearing the helmet or if the helmet is faulty are as follows;

  • Concussions – This is one of the most severe forms of head injuries because the players become unaware of their immediate surroundings when hit by a very hard cricket ball; sometimes, it has been noticed that the true impact of the hit is found later. This can lead to serious mental and neurological issues.
  • Facial lacerations – These are the more visible and gruesome-looking injuries. These may look very nasty on the surface, but when looking at the bigger picture, they do not lead to any future issues unless the damages are in the sensory organs of the face, such s eyes, ears, and to some extent, the nose.

Wearing a defective helmet is as bad as playing without one because in the latter, at least one would be aware that since the helmet is not there so, play the quick ones safely without taking many risks. At the same time, with the former, one can get a false sense of security and take unnecessary and ill-advised risks for the team’s greater good. This, in turn, could lead to the player ending up in a state which is not suitable for him or the sport of cricket.

How to find your ideal cricket helmet:

An ideal helmet should have a combination of characteristics that would help provide optimal protection to the players wearing it without hindering their performance on the field. For that to happen following features must be on point;

  • The build material – The outer material of the helmet should be lightweight but heavy-duty at the same time, meaning that it should be able to sustain quick deliveries without any problems and without being too heavy on the head and neck of the players wearing it. Carbon fiber and fiberglass are two materials that can provide those mentioned above, so going with either is an intelligent choice on the buyer’s part.
  • Size of the helmet – It is imperative that the helmet should fit on the head properly; otherwise, not only the loose helmet would deter the concentration of the players, but the urge to keep on adjusting the helmet can also catch the players lacking and being out of focus from the game itself. Therefore measuring the head size prior to buying a helmet is very important; the helmet should be able to meet the designated sizes, and then only one should buy any given helmet.
  • The inner material and built – The helmet should have a tremendous inner lining that is able to absorb sweat and not deter the concentration of the players as it. The proper inner padding and cushioning also play a vital role in minimizing the severity of any impact to a great degree.
  • The helmet strap – The component of a helmet is often not noticed. Still, one has to make sure that the belt and locking mechanism of the helmet are appropriate because it can essentially decide if the helmet stays on the head or falls off in the long run. The strap could decide that even when any abrupt or sudden movement is made, the helmet stays on the head and is adequately placed still.

Abiding by the features mentioned above should lead to the buyer of the cricketing helmet in the right way since almost all the crucial aspects of the helmet are covered. The overall betterment of the players and cricket itself depends on the players’ safety; hence, building a helmet that can meet these points is a must.

Other than these, there is personal preference which can either bring brand based on the physiology o the heads of the different individuals. So in order to look for helmets that could cater to the needs of different individuals, they need to look for unique graphics and symbols, and tags suiting their personalities.

Safety and International Quality standards set by ICC:

The ICC (International Cricket Council) is the supreme governing body of cricket. It regulates all the notions and regulations in the sport of international cricket being played around the globe. The safety of the players is a concern to them; hence they have set certain stands and tests to determine which helmets are meant to be worn by the professionals on the field and which are not.

Some of the standards that are put in place;

  • All helmets need to be manufactured in accordance with the new British Standards (BSI) – BS7928:2013.
  • The head protectors installed in the helmets need to pass through the contact projectile test to ensure that the ball does not pass through the protectors/grills and does not end up damaging the players by going inside the helmet.
  • A head protection test is also put in place where the cricket helmet is being made to pass the test of being hit by the cricketing balls moving quickly. This is done to determine whether the helmet is fit to be put into practice or needs further improvements.

It is essential to check the helmets’ labels because those tested properly by the test as mentioned above and standards will have labeling of the same done by the ICC.

Conclusion

Cricket is a game of uncertainties; at any moment, anything could happen, but the least one can do to protect the body’s most vital organ, the head. To do that, the presence of a high-quality helmet is significant. The must-have helmet features could prevent complacency that could lead to injuries. Therefore choose the helmets wisely.