In a press release dated September 14, 2023, Cricket Australia (CA) announced changes to CA’s playing conditions for the 2023-24 season making it mandatory for batters to wear neck guards when facing fast or medium pace bowlers. Failure to do so will result in sanctions under the new rules to be introduced by CA.
The said neck guards are required to be fixed or fitted to the rear of the batting helmets. This requirement must be complied with by batters participating in any Australian domestic competition. When it comes to international cricket, CA is set to enforce this rule through its clothing and equipment regulations.
It is clarified that the rule does not apply to batters facing slow or spin bowling, along with wicketkeepers and close-in fielders.
The rule requiring the use of neck protectors was first introduced after Phillip Hughes, an Australian Test and ODI cricketer, was struck in the neck by a ball thrown by a fast bowler during a match in Sydney on November 25, 2014, and he succumbed to his injuries two days later. A week before CA came out with its rule on neck protectors, all-rounder, Cameron Green was struck on the neck guard fixed to his helmet during the first ODI against South Africa.