Australian umpire Karl Wentzel has questioned whether Bruce Oxenford’s use of a protective arm guard restricts his movement when officiating.
Oxenford was once again seen with a protective arm guard on his left-hand while officiating in the first ODI between India and New Zealand at Dharmasala on Sunday. The 57-year-old ICC umpire has been using this shield for limited over games.
“Looking at the photograph of Bruce, compared to using a helmet for protection, I would imagine that the shield is restricting the use of one arm during umpiring, maybe creating difficulty when signalling to the scorers (eg. wides, sixes, dead balls etc)”, Wentzel, the first umpire to make use of a helmet for protection, said. “Also this (use of arm-guard) may introduce an object that may cause an injury when accidentally colliding with a player.
“Whilst I did not try an arm shield for protective equipment I tried every other type of helmet (including baseball, hockey goalie, hockey full back helmets) and I found that the cricket helmet was the most comfortable and practical to use as protection.
“The cricket helmet does not cling to the face during long hours of standing and allows for plenty of airflow and for you to wear a sweat band underneath on a hot day,” Wentzel continued. “As we know batsmen, together with close up standing fielders and wicket keepers, all wear such helmets and an umpire wearing the same type of helmet for protection fits in well with established cricket attire.
“Nevertheless it was great to see another ICC umpire making progress in protecting himself from possible freak injuries caused by the hard hitting balls.”
A Civil Engineer by profession, Bipin is also a senior cricket journalist in India.
He has toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Malaysia, to name a few, and contributes to a large number of newspapers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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