Won’t use helmet, I am fit enough to move out of danger area: Ruchira

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Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent

Mumbai

Sri Lankan umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge had a “lucky escape” on Wednesday night.
The 50-year-old field umpire could survive the serious injury on Wednesday’s only T-20 match between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premeadasa Stadium.
The powerful straight drive shot from Kohli’s bat (off Lasith Malinga, 16th over of India innings) was “nearly a killer”. Thanks to Palliyaguruge, who fell down on the ground and ugly incident was avoided.
“It was a lightening strike. I would have tried my hands to stop the ball. I could do that…”, Palliyaguruge, speaking exclusively over his mobile, said on Thursday morning.
There have been strong suggestion for the umpires to use of helmet.
Some umpires have started using helmet. Australia’s Bruce Oxenford has been using an arm protector in all T-20 matches.
“Let other umpires have opinion on using the helmet. I am certain that I will not use helmet. I am fit enough to move out of danger. I work hard everyday to be fit for the job. I go to gym four or five times a week”, he added.
Interestingly, the umpire, who was an all-rounder has played 124 First Class matches. “My cricketing background (right arm medium pacer and the rihg-handed batsman) helps me in anticipation of the ball”.
“Had it been deflected off my body nothing would have happened but had it been caught by a fielder after deflection on my body, Kohli would have been out”, the umpire added.
The umpire was brave enough to be smiling after the incident. He had won the International Umpire of the Year 2015 award.