Monday, May 11, 2009
Cricket-Harper has Twenty20 vision to protect umpires
CHENNAI, India, May 12 - Increasingly ferocious
hits in the fast-paced Twenty20 game is forcing umpires to
consider using baseball helmets for protection.
"I guess it's only a matter of time before you see us using
those," Australian umpire Daryl Harper told the Times of India
newspaper on Tuesday.
"The bats are getting heavier, the shots are hit with more
ferocity... I can bet umpires have to be very careful," he
said, suggesting a baseball helmet with a full face cover would
act as a good form of protection.
Cricket's newest format is gaining popularity because of
the frequency of big hits and Harper said this was putting
umpires at greater risk due to their proximity to the batsman.
"I was talking about this to some of the other umpires and
they were also of the same opinion," said Harper, currently
officiating in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition
in South Africa.
"Given the pace with which some of the players hit those
shots, it's becoming really dangerous for us.
"In one of the games, Sanath's (Jayasuriya) shot hit me so
hard that I was feeling breathless for a while.
"And (Matthew) Hayden's hits have brushed my ears a few
times as well."
(Reporting by Sanjay Rajan; Editing by John O'Brien. To query
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