By Bipin Dani
Australian umpire John Ward has announced his retirement.
Ward, who will turn 58 this week has officiated in seven ODIs and eight T20i matches.
Ward was a cricketer (right-handed batsman and an-off break bowler) but is more known as the ‘helmet umpire’.
He is one of the few umpires who officiated as a field umpire with a helmet.
Speaking exclusively over telephone from Melbourne, he said, “I started wearing a helmet in January 2016 after suffering a head strike during a Ranji Cup match in November 2015”.
Ward was officiating in India in the Ranji Trophy match after the BCCI and the CA (Cricket Australia) had agreed to an “exchange umpire” programme.
“I fear other umpires may be struck particularly during T20 fixtures”.
“I believe umpires should seriously consider the wearing of a protective helmet as this would reduce the chances of serious brain injury,” he further added.