Umpire Paul Reiffel has quashed the idea of wearing a helmet while officiating in Test matches despite suffering a concussion after being hit by India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s throw during the fourth match of the ongoing series between India and England.
The incident took place during the 49th over of England’s first innings when Reiffel, a veteran of 27 Tests, was struck when Bhuvneshwar hurled in a throw from the outfield on the opening day. The 50-year-old Australian was left on the floor and the medical team at the ground was rushed to assist him.
Paul Reiffel, who is currently in Melbourne after the International Cricket Council (ICC) deemed him unfit to take the field for the final Test in Chennai, believes that wearing a helmet would make the umpiring process much more complicated for him.
“It would be too heavy and too hot, five days with a helmet on, it just would be impossible. It’s hard to hear (with the helmet on). I’ve put one on and thought ‘could I umpire in this?’ and I thought I’d really struggle,” Reiffel was quoted as saying.
Reflecting on the accident, the Australian said that the incident took place because he took his eyes off the ball thinking it was dead.
“Always keep your eye on the ball. I just didn’t do it. I feel a bit silly not doing that. It’s like playing; if you watch the ball you should come out all right. It was just an accident. I’d back myself to get out of the way if I see it coming,” he said.
“I must have relaxed and expected him to throw it to the ’keeper over my head and he decided to throw it halfway to the fieldsman. He got it wrong and hit me on the back of my head. It got me behind the ear and hit me flush, that’s what’s done the damage,” added Reiffel.
Reiffel is likely to make a return in the three-match ODI series between New Zealand and Bangladesh beginning at the Hagley Oval on Boxing Day.