County Championship Division One 2016
ECB criticised over helmet regulations
England batsman Nick Compton has his say as Andrew Strauss warns Alastair Cook over his helmet
16 April 2016, 01:31 PM AEST
England batsmen Nick Compton has criticised the ECB's new helmet regulations as Test captain Alastair Cook was reportedly warned he could be banned if he failed to adopt the new safety measures.
The England and Wales Cricket Board announced a change in policy in regards to helmets last November, with all players in professional matches required to wear helmets that meet the updated British Safety Standard.
The decision came around 12 months since Australian batsman Phillip Hughes was killed when he was struck in the neck by a delivery during a Sheffield Shield match, and six months after Englishman Craig Kieswetter retired due to the serious facial injuries he suffered when a ball went between his helmet and grille during an English county match.
Compton was one of Hughes's closest friends having been his flatmate in London during their time together at Middlesex, while they were also teammates at Sydney grade club Western Suburbs. Compton flew from the UK to Australia for Hughes's funeral in December 2014.
But 32-year-old right-hander says the new measures have gone too far.
"For me there are so many rules and regulations now," Compton was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
"Health and safety and all these regulations - they do my head in.
"You look at the Phil Hughes incident. It was well publicised that he was one of my best friends and I’m always thinking of him, but what happened was a freak accident.
"Those helmets have been used by thousands of players in the past and have done very well.
"All these new regulations takes away the freedom that sport is associated with. The whole point of sport for me growing up was freedom, and being away from rules and conforming.
"Sport should be about going out there and expressing yourself, but it seems that everything around you is everything but.
"It’s so conforming and restricting and I just hope that we don’t take away from natural game."
Compton's comments come as Cook was reportedly warned by England's Managing Director Andrew Strauss - his former opening partner - that he risked being suspended if he continued to wear a helmet that didn't meet the new standards.
A report in The Times said Cook could face a disciplinary committee if he continued to wear a non-sanctioned helmet, as he did in county cricket last week.
All eyes will be on the helmet Cook wears when he captains Essex in their county clash against Sussex, starting this weekend, with The Telegraph reporting the ECB are confident their captain will adopt the new guidelines.
Cricket Australia informed its players last August that they must comply with the British Standard as of the 2015-16 season, a decision that came after a directive from the International Cricket Council.
Last October, Australia batsman Shaun Marsh was reprimanded for failing to comply with the updated regulations during a Matador BBQs One-Day Cup match.
The findings from a coroner's inquest into Hughes's death are yet to be released.