mid-day editorial: No heroism in dying on the playing field

Updated: Nov 19, 2016, 06:02 IST | mid-day correspondent |

Struggling Australian batsman Adam Voges (37), who was diagnosed with concussion after a bouncer struck him on the helmet is on the mend, reports say. He took a bouncer from Cameron Stevenson and sank to the ground

Struggling Australian batsman Adam Voges (37), who was diagnosed with concussion after a bouncer struck him on the helmet is on the mend, reports say. He took a bouncer from Cameron Stevenson and sank to the ground.

It was yet another heart-in-mouth moment for players and fans everywhere. Voges though stayed on his limbs instead of collapsing to the ground and was helped off the field by medicos. While news of his ongoing recovery comes as a relief, the image of Voges felled by the Stevenson bouncer is going to stay with the world for a while now, thanks to replays on social media.

This incident throws the death of Aussie batsman Phillip Hughes into sharp relief. Hughes, who was shea­thed by a helmet, died from bleeding in the brain in November 2014 after being hit on the neck by a rising ball, during a domestic match in Sydney.

While both players wore helmets, maybe it is time to look at the design of this armor. The material these are made of and whether they sheath a player effectively against the short, rising ball. One understands that every time a player, wearing protective equipment takes the field, he is risking life and limbs to some extent.

There are dangers associated with most games, given the inherent nature of competitive sport. Yet, instead of having an attitude that injury comes with the territory, every effort must be made to mitigate chances of injury. Constant re-look at rules, reinvention and experimentation and improvisation if need be, in equipment is a need of the hi-tech age.

There has been so much progress in technology in sport, including safety measures. The latter especially, has to be constantly reinforced. There is no heroism in death on the playing field. Only lessons can be taken away from there, so that history is not repeated.

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