Australian batsmen will now have to wear neck protection on their batting helmets when facing medium or fast bowlers in the 2023-24 season, Cricket Australia announced on Thursday.
The governing body recommended that neck guards be used after Australian batsman Phil Hughes died in 2014 when a ball hit him in the neck during a match in Sydney.
However, star players like Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and David Warner have opposed wearing the additional braces, but it will henceforth be mandatory during men’s and women’s matches when the new season begins early next month.
“Protection of the head and neck is extremely important in our sport,” Peter Roach, chief operating officer of Cricket Australia, said in a statement.
According to him, the decision is based on “considerable input and consultation from a large variety of experts and stakeholders”.
The decision comes a week after the versatile Australian player Cameron Green had to leave the field with concussion after a delivery from the Proteas’ Kagiso Rabada hit the side of his batting helmet in the team’s one-day test against South Africa.