John Mooney: New helmet invention may help prevent deaths

Ireland World Cup cricketer John Mooney hopes that his new invention will help prevent deaths like that of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes.

John Mooney: New helmet invention may help prevent deaths

Former electrician Mooney has created and built a metal grille to add to the back of standard cricket helmets, which will protect the neck area when the batsman faces short-pitched bowling.

The 33-year-old designed the device after Hughes was killed following a blow to the neck from a cricket ball while batting during a Sheffield Shield match last November.

The Dubliner, who wore the new helmet for the first time during Ireland's two-wicket World Cup win over the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, hopes to persuade investors to help develop the product commercially.

Mooney says the initial idea was conceived before Hughes' death, after his cousin Eddie Richardson was hit on the neck by a bouncer when playing club cricket for North County.

“There was of course the unfortunate death of Phil Hughes before Christmas, but I have seen numerous players hit on the neck – my cousin Edser got hit twice last year - so my father-in-law Alan Grant and I decided we would put something together.”

“I'm a qualified electrician, but I have picked skills from up other trades. I'm good at working with my hands and I thought straight away that it was something I could do,” he said.

Mooney hopes the product will be commercially available within six months, if it can be certified for general use.

“It is a safety device, so passing those tests is paramount,” he said.

“At the moment I am the only one who can wear it, as I won't be suing myself if something goes wrong with it!

“But it's a really steady device, so I don't anticipate anything going wrong.”

Ireland, who lie in third place in Pool B after beating the West Indies and UAE in their opening two matches of the World Cup, next face South Africa in Canberra on Tuesday.

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