British company devises Safe Stumps for cricket

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Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent

Mumbai

Safe Stumps, which have come into existence in ICC’s new Playing Conditions are designed to ensure player safety without impact on stump behavior. They are designed to remove the risk of flying bails, without altering the mechanics of bowled and run-out dismissals.
The mechanism has been devised by an English company-Augury Sports, it is learnt here.
“The idea for the product came from my business partner, Gus Kennedy”, Harry Cox, the partner, speaking exclusively, said.
“He (Gus Kennedy) has kept wicket at first class level for Oxford and Cambridge University and recognised the dangers keepers and other players were facing from flying bails”.
“As you are no doubt aware there have been high profile international cricketers who have been forced to retire due to these kind of injuries in the past and we believe many more at a lower level which are not reported about”, he further added.
“Mark Boucher has not been consulted directly but he has been vocal in calling for a product of this type for some time now. We are currently in the process of gathering endorsements from current international players” , he added. .
“Our intention is that our new product will prevent these kind of injuries from occurring in the future by limiting the distance the bails can travel from the stumps by securing them to the wickets”.
“The product has been designed in the UK, and we are in a testing phase currently with a view to trialing the product in competitive cricket this summer”, Cox added further.
With specific reference to the 2012 Boucher incident, the British Journal of Sports Medicine record that in International cricket Boucher was exposed to 112 incidences of a bowled dismissal whilst keeping to spin.
Although this indicates that exposure to such incidences is low, the article highlights that the chance of being hit in the eye by a bail when such an incident does occur is higher than one might intuitively expect.