Ramdin calls for tougher helmets
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
West Indies Test cricket captain Denesh Ramdin has appealed to makers of cricket helmets to improve on their product following the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who was hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott.
Ramdin made the call as the West Indies left the Caribbean on Sunday for South Africa to play that country in a three-Test series.
"The helmets that we have need to be improved because when you get a lash on it, you really feel the pain," said Ramdin.
"It is basically just a piece of fibreglass and this is not adequate protection."
Last year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed a committee to look at an international benchmark for standards on helmets and is likely to fast-track the process in light of Hughes' death.
The West Indies open their tour with a warm-up match against a South African Invitational XI at Benoni on December 10, to be followed by the first Test at Centurion, starting December 17.
The second Test starts on Boxing Day, December 26, while the final Test is due to start January 2 at Capetown.
Three T20s and five one-day internationals will follow before the team returns to the Caribbean for a short break, ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia in February.
"This team [South Africa] 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 focused and do the right things consistently and we will get the results we want," Ramdin said.
"The senior players, including myself, have to lead from the front and the younger players have to take their lead."
The West Indies Cricket Board announced on Monday that in-form Windward Islands opener Devon Smith will replace veteran opener Chris Gayle, who has been forced out of the series due to injury.
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.