The sporting world anxiously awaits updates on the condition of Australian batsman, Phil Hughes, 25, who collapsed after a delivery from a bowler struck him on the head, missing his helmet. Hughes is an induced coma following surgery to relieve pressure in his brain. 

The latest updates from his medical team confirm that Hughes’ condition is unchanged and he remains critical. A press release from the helmet manufacturer, Masuri, has advised that Hughes was struck by the ball to the rear of the grille and below the back of the shell, missing his 2013 model helmet. Masuri has confirmed that this is a vulnerable area of the head and neck that cannot be fully protected by a helmet while enabling batsmen to have full and proper movement.

Charlene McAuliffe, member of the specialist personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP, commented: “This incident is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by sports men and women who face balls coming at them at high speed and the devastating impact of a resulting head injury. Hopefully, the swift reaction by all involved will enable a good recovery. Thankfully, since the introduction of helmets 35 years ago, these incidents are very rare in cricket, but worryingly there are still various sports being played throughout the world, such as hurling and field hockey, where not all players are required to wear helmets.

“It is really important that the sporting industry does all it can to ensure that helmets are well designed and meet safety standards in order to offer as much protection as possible. We need to encourage the use of protective helmets in all high velocity sports and ensure that players wear the latest model available. Although helmets do not eliminate injuries completely, they can reduce the risk.”