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Face masks could be next step: Rohrer

A New Zealand bowler who trialed protective headwear while bowling may have given a glimpse of the future, Sydney Thunder veteran Ben Rohrer believes

Sydney Thunder batsman Ben Rohrer believes face masks for bowlers could be "the next step" in terms of player protection in the game.

Rohrer was struck on the collarbone and throat from a Callum Ferguson straight drive while backing up at the non-striker's end in last night's clash against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, with the batsman having missed his side's fielding innings but expected to recover in time for their next match.

Rohrer felled by Ferguson's friendly fire

Last weekend in New Zealand domestic cricket, Otago fast bowler Warren Barnes trialed a protective headwear while bowling, and Rohrer believes it could well have been a glimpse of the sport's future.

"I saw that … possibly, if guys keep hitting them that hard (it could become commonplace)," Rohrer said of the protective headwear. "I know the umpires have started to do it and I think that's a great move with the helmets, and obviously the batters have helmets on at the other end too, so I think that (bowlers wearing protective headwear) is the next step.

"Particularly when, you saw how Chris Lynn hit them tonight – if he hit one straight back at the bowler, it's big trouble."

Rohrer was left shaken by the powerful blow during the Thunder's innings but instinctively returned to his crease to ensure he kept his wicket intact, and batted on to make an unbeaten 16 from nine deliveries in what was ultimately a thrilling final-over defeat for the Sydney franchise.

"Cal definitely got hold of it," he said of the incident. "It's the first time I've felt like I haven't picked up the ball coming back toward me, so I was a bit worried to start with.

"It hit me straight on the collarbone, with a little bit of throat as well, but thankfully I was able to take that first breath and I was alright after that.

"I think the collarbone probably saved it from a flush blow on the windpipe, so once I took a breath and was able to swallow, I thought everything should be alright."

Match Highlights: Heat chase down Thunder

The Thunder have a tight turnaround before their next clash, against the Hurricanes in Launceston on Saturday, however Rohrer believes he will be able to take his place.

"Fingers crossed," he added. "The doc said he thinks I should be alright, as long as the swelling goes down enough.

"Throwing is probably going to be the biggest issue, but Chris Lynn got away with it tonight so I'll try and hide somewhere."

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