Cricket has come so far from the early days of underarm bowling to now having one of the biggest leagues in the world. In that time the game has become shorter, faster, and safer. What used to be a good score in ODI is now chaseable even in the T20s, such has been the change in the pace of the sport. In earlier days, the batsman was asked if he has indeed knicked the ball into the keeper gloves and the umpire gave a decision based on that. Now however every wicket and run counts and nothing is given to the other team. Batsmen used to not take further runs if there was a fielding mistake. The fielders used to let the ball go if it seemed difficult to stop. Now, however, every overthrow or miss field is turned into extra runs and fielding has arguably seen the biggest jump in quality. We see players like AB DeVilliers catch the ball in incredibly tough situations. Fielders like Jadeja could probably get into any former side on the back of just his brilliant fielding and nothing else.
The Mankading which was seen as something against the ethics of the game is now a perfectly acceptable runout. The point I’m getting at is, in this day and age of fast-paced cricket you still see batsmen batting with a cap on! The ball is flying from all around the ground towards the batsmen in a T20 and the batsman stands there will a thin cloth around his head. Look at this video of Vijay Shankar being hit on the head while taking a run in this year’s IPL. If there was a spinner bowling and Shankar was donning a cap, the incident would have gone very differently.
Another instance where a batsman was hit on the head while taking a run was from a match between SRH and RR when Dhawal Kulkarni was hit on the back of his head. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet and came out unscathed. In both instances, the batsmen could have died if they were wearing caps which many batsmen do even in T20s.
Tendulkar has urged the ICC to make helmets mandatory for batsmen before something bad happens to any of the players. Today when the game’s pace has gone up a few notches, wearing a cap while batting seems incredibly dangerous and should be banned for the benefit of everyone.