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Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday took to Twitter to urge the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make wearing helmets mandatory for batsmen at all the professional levels against any bowling attack — be it a spinner or a fast bowler. Tendulkar’s remark came after a recent incident in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) where SunRisers Hyderabad all-rounder Vijay Shankar was hit on the helmet while trying to take a quick single but was saved by the grille on the protective gear. Sharing a link to the video on his Twitter handle, the batting maestro tweeted: “The game has become faster but is it getting safer? Recently we witnessed an incident which could’ve been nasty. Be it a spinner or pacer, wearing a HELMET should be MANDATORY for batsmen at professional levels. Request @icc to take this up on priority”.

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The incident happened during Hyderabad’s league match against Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on October 24. In the 18th over of SRH’s innings, Jason Holder played the ball with soft hands and called for a quick single. Sensing a run-out opportunity, KXIP fielder Nicholas Pooran aimed a direct hit at the striker’s end but missed the stumps and the ball ended up crashing onto Shankar’s helmet, forcing him on the ground.

Despite the nasty blow, Shankar decided to carry on given the match situation but got out on the very next ball, edging one straight to KL Rahul behind stumps.

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Tendulkar also tagged cricket boards of prominent cricketing nations in subsequent tweets. What happened to Shankar also reminded him of an incident involving current Indian head coach Ravi Shastri who had escaped grave injury after getting hit by a Sunil Gavaskar delivery during an exhibition game.

“@RaviShastriOfc, this also reminded me of the time when you got hit after top edging a full toss bowled by Mr. Gavaskar during an exhibition game. That could’ve been a grave injury too but thankfully wasn’t!” Sachin wrote on Twitter.

Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha also agreed with Tendulkar’s request and wrote that it is important to ensure the safety of players as well as the umpires and making helmets compulsory for them will be a step in right direction.

“I second that paaji….when we are advancing so much in getting technology to improve cricket. Why not make Helmet compulsory for wicket keepers (standing up), batsmen, short leg-silly point fielders and both the umpires. Safety is also important!” Ojha replied on Tendulkar’s post.

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