Port of Spain (Trinidad): West Indies Test captain Denesh Ramdin appealed to makers of cricket helmets to improve their product, following the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who was hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott.

Ramdin made the statement as the West Indies left the Caribbean to tour South Africa for three Tests, three Twenty20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals (ODI), reports CMC.

“The helmets we have need to be improved because when you get a lash on it, you really feel the pain. It is basically just a piece of fibreglass and this is not adequate protection," said Ramdin.

Denesh Ramdin
Denesh Ramdin. File Pic

Last year the International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed a committee to look at an international bench mark for standards on helmets and is likely to fast track the process in the light of Hughes' death.

The West Indies open their tour with a warm-up match against a South African Invitational XI at Benoni Dec 10 to be followed by the first Test at Centurion, starting Dec 17. The second Test starts Boxing Day while the final Test is due to start Jan 2 at Cape Town.

“This team is very tough but we have good players on our team and we are going to give them a run. We just need to keep focus and do the right things consistently and we will get the results we want. The senior players including myself have to lead from the front and the younger players have to take their lead," Ramdin said.

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that in-form opener Devon Smith will replace veteran Chris Gayle who has been forced out of the series due to injury.

The squad: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Sulieman Benn, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cottrell, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Devon Smith, Jason Holder, Leon Johnson, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton.