Cricket ball

Testing on the suitability of baseball-style masks has begun and discussions have opened between baseball and cricket authorities about future safety equipment after umpires raised fears over safety to the England & Wales Cricket Board.

Protection for umpires is likely to be discussed at the ECB's executive board meeting on Thursday when the board is set to pass new rules making the wearing of helmets mandatory for players in professional cricket.
Protected: Home plate umpires in the MLB wear protective headgear and face masks.

The ECB is expected to rubber stamp proposals for batsmen to wear helmets when facing all types of bowling and also close-in fielders within an eight-yard radius of the bat, except when fielding behind square on the on side.

This means the sight of slip fielders wearing helmets to spin bowlers could become a common one. Batsmen will also be told they have to wear helmets in the nets as will coaches giving throwdowns at close quarters.