Bruce Oxenford, who has been using a shield on his left arm in Indian Premier League (IPL) says he will continue to use it in internationals T20 games.
Australian Oxenford (56), who officiated in Sunday’s IPL final as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore, said: “This is the first IPL season where I have tried this and I intend to use it in all T20 international games in future also because the impact of the ball is more in this format of the game.
“I am not sure whether the same would be used in ODIs’ and Tests by me,” he continued. “It will depend on the circumstances and there has been no ICC restriction on the use.
“I got this (shield) made myself in Australia. It is to protect the heart which is an important organ in one’s life.”
The umpire, however, has not been using helmet as a few other umpires do.
“The head is not as important as heart. When the ball comes at you with the speed, immediately your hand reaches at your heart and hence I thought of using this protective gear for my chest. At present, I am the only umpire using this shield”, he claimed.
“I have not been using it for the other arm also, because it would then possibly been too difficult to adjust while signalling a wide ball,” he added. “I have not been using helmet because it sometimes obstructs vision and the umpires may find it difficult to hear the call.”
Krishnamachari Bharatan, the other umpire who officiated with Oxenford in one of the IPL matches, was “surprised” to see Oxenford officiating with this shield.
“Yes, it took me a surprise on that day. He has brought this gear from Australia, I am told. It is left to the individuals and if one uses it to protect himself, it is fine.”
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