May 13, 2009

Indian Premier League

Helmets for umpires

George Binoy

Matthew Hayden striding down the pitch to smash bowlers during the IPL is an ominous sight from afar and one can empathise with Daryl Harper for wanting to wear a helmet while officiating in Twenty20 games.

“In one of the games Sanath’s [Jayasuriya] shot hit me so hard that I was feeling breathless for a while. And Hayden’s hits have brushed my ears a few times as well,” Harper told Times of India. "I was talking about this to some of the other umpires and they were also of the same opinion. Given the pace with which some of the players hit those shots, it's becoming really dangerous for us. I guess it's just a matter of time before you see us using those [baseball helmets].”

And what do the umpires do during the strategy breaks? "Well, that's a sock for us,” Harper says. “We can discuss where we would dine."

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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