Mumbai: John Ward, the first umpire to wear a helmet in an international match, feels that the use of this protective gear has boosted his confidence level.
It was a first of its kind instance in international cricket when the 54-year-old Australian umpire John Ward was seen officiating wearing a helmet during the fourth one-day international match between Australia and India at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.
Speaking from Sydney, Ward said, "The helmet was very comfortable and great for my confidence."
Few weeks ago, Ward was seriously injured while officiating in a Ranji Trophy match in India (umpires exchange program with Cricket Australia) when a shot from Barindar Sran struck his head. He was treated in India and Australia thereafter.
"My helmet is the same as the players", he added.
Ward has not voiced his opinion for the mandatory use of the helmet. However, he says, "If umpires feel the need to wear a helmet they should do so. It is up to the individual.”
Ward will officiate as a third umpire in the last ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday and will be ready to be on field, if the emergency arises.
England umpire Richard Kettleborough is under medical observation and "most likely" to officiate in the final ODI between Australia and India on Saturday, according to the one of the top sources in Australia.
The 43-year-old Kettleborough retired hurt few overs after being struck by a powerful hit from Australia's Aaron Finch off Ishant Sharma.
He has not been hospitalised but is kept under observation. In all probability, he is scheduled to travel to Sydney," a source revealed on condition of anonymity.
"He is scheduled to officiate as an on-field umpire in the last ODI and we hope to see him in Sydney," the source added.
"Paul Wilson, who was designated as a third umpire but subsequently replaced injured Kettleborough on field (during the fourth ODI at Canberra) will be his partner at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 23."
The reserve umpire for the final ODI is Gerard Abood, who has also umpired with helmet in a local match in Australia. Robyn Sanday and Kay Wilcoxon are the official scorers and Jeff Crowe will remain as a match referee.