New Delhi, Oct 18: People were amazed to see on-field umpire Bruce Oxenford sporting an unusual shield like object on his arm during India's first ODI match against New Zealand at Dharamsala on Sunday (Oct 16).
The glass shield strapped to his left arm kept several spectators guessing what is that unusual thing actually for.
Well, for those who are still unaware of the use of the glass-like object sported by the Australian umpire Oxenford, it is called a 'forearm shield'.
The forearm shield is used as a protection to prevent the umpire from shots that are aimed towards the umpire. This protective device is made of perspex and worn on the non-signalling arm.
Spectators might have also witnessed umpire John Ward wearing a helmet during India's ODI matches in Australia earlier this year. He too used it for protection.
In December last year, Australia's 53-year-old Ward was injured while officiating a Ranji Trophy match after being struck on the head by a shot played by Punjab's Brainder Sran.
At a time when safety of cricketers is once again being debated due to the ongoing inquest into the death of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes, the safety of umpires hardly finds any mention.
The issue of safety of umpires came to fore after an umpire died in Israel after he suffered an injury on his head
Umpires thus resort to such unique methods and techniques to prevent themselves from injuries and untoward incidents.