It is hard to call the first piece of protective head gear in cricket a helmet, but it was an innovative piece of equipment nonetheless. It was a 3-peaked cap worn by Middlesex cricketer Patsy Hendren.
The year was 1933 and Harold Larwood was at his ferocious best. He was instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the batsmen who had to face up to him. Patsy Hendren came up with a Sherlock Holmes style cap. The cap had three flaps and the goal of the cap that instead of the ball smashing into the batsman’s head it would be deflected away without causing harm.
It was a valiant effort but the problems with Patsy’s helmet were inherent to the naked eye. While it was a great effort for the glancing blow, it did little to combat a blow that was headed flush for the batsman’s head.
There is no historical record of whether Hendren ever received a blow to his self made head protection yet it will always go down in history as the first piece of cricket head protection ever worn.
The helmet has evolved a great deal since then and many believe that it is still a work in progress, as new helmets like the Masuri Vision Series strongly suggest.
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