When David Hookes’ jaw was shattered, so were some long held perceptions. Batsmen should never flinch or show the bowler that a blow has been painful. Furthermore, since the game began, the batsman had stared down the bowler from beneath the peak of a soft cap and certainly not a helmet.
The broken jaws of McCosker and Hookes had vividly demonstrated just how dangerous the flying ball could be. And while potentially lethal, World Series Cricket had introduced another real consideration; the loss of income. For a full-time professional, absence from the playing field resulted in financial hardship, while for Mr. Packer an injured player was a dormant investment not offering a ‘return’.
From Mike Brearley’s ‘skull cap’ to the fully blown ‘motorcycle helmet design’ worn by Dennis Amiss and Tony Greig, the cricket helmet evolved to become a permanent fixture of the modern game. Ultimately the helmet took on a more aesthetically pleasing form as ‘Coonan and Denlay’ incorporated the expertise they had gained in producing equestrian helmets. Now more closely resembling the traditional cricket cap, clear face visors ultimately gave way to rigid grills to protect the batsman’s face.
The helmet had arrived and the WSC revolution was set to continue late into the night….