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Former ICC chief wants review of safety standards

MUMBAI: Former International Cricket Council chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has called on the game’s administrators to work on upgrading safety standards to ensure that incidents like the shock death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes never happen again.

Hughes, wearing a helmet, was struck on the neck by a short-pitched delivery when batting in a domestic match on Tuesday, with the force of the blow piercing his vertebral artery and causing blood to gush into his brain.

He died in hospital on Thursday aged 25.

The incident has brought the focus back on cricket’s protective equipment, specifically helmets which are supposed to prevent such fatal injuries.

“This is very, very sad. These injuries are part of cricket but precautions should be taken so that such incidents do not happen,” Dalmiya, who was ICC president from 1997-2000, told Reuters.

“I hope this never happens again on the cricket field.”

The 74-year-old Dalmiya, who has also held the top post in the Indian cricket board (BCCI), said the incident reflected poorly on people who run the game.

“After the Nari Contractor incident a number of years have passed. But if we are still struggling with the quality of protective gear, that’s a very sad thing on the part of the administrators,” said Dalmiya, who now heads the state cricket association in West Bengal.

“Everyone involved in the game should be able to protect the players and one has to try and prevent these incidents from happening.

“Once something like this happens we have got nothing to do but lament. Can we do anything now? No, we can’t.”

Former India captain Contractor was stuck on the skull by a Charlie Griffith bouncer in a practice match against Barbados during India’s tour of the West Indies in 1962.

The injury during the pre-helmet era left Contractor unconscious for days but he miraculously survived after multiple operations and blood transfusions. However, he never played for India again. – Reuters

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