Nets – Health and Safety and common sense

Net practice will begin shortly for the Tigers (see Fixtures and Teamer). Our members may or may not be aware of the horrific, life-changing injury suffered by the Bradford League player Alex Tait whilst bowling in pre-season nets. If not, google ‘Alex Tait cricket injury ‘.


Alex suffered the injury when the batsman smashed the ball back at him and he was unable to react in time, being struck right between the eyes, breaking 15 different bones in his skull.

Observing the behaviour of our players in the nets at Lord’s over many years it is surprising something similar has not occurred. Nets are a restricted environment, like playing cricket in a tunnel, and sometimes there is nowhere to hide. A couple of years ago, trapped against the netting, I took a nasty blow on the forearm in similar circumstances to the above, and I wasn’t even bowling! It was a complete accident, as were the spate of our batsmen being hit on the head with fast beamers some time back. Luckily, no serious damage was inflicted on these occasions, but it could have been very different.

A cricket ball may only weigh five and a half ounces, but when propelled by a batsman or bowler at 70-80 mph can inflict severe damage to the human body.


The purpose of cricket nets – at least at our standard of play- is surely for team members to reconnect socially, activate muscles that may have been redundant during the winter, in addition to fine-tuning their batting and bowling techniques, and not for larking about and attempting things they would never think of doing in a match situation (e.g. bowlers frequently ignore the bowling crease and overstep by some distance, which can mean losing control of the ball).

So please, whilst not suggesting we bowl underarm lobs at each other or pat the ball gently back to the bowler, be sensible and have some consideration for your teammates. Don’t bowl fast short-pitched balls at batsmen with mobility and technical issues and don’t try and smash every ball straight back towards a gaggle of net bowlers who may or may not be paying attention. Injuries in cricket are inevitable, but accidents are preventable.

Members are reminded the first Lord’s net will be on Wednesday 15 March at 7pm and sessions will now cost £10 a time, as agreed at the 2016 AGM.

File under ‘Only a matter of time’


Editor’s note – Thanks Steve, safety first of course. If anyone is still planning to attend, here’s a reminder of the dangers standing at the other end when Tyro’s blood is up (2:06)




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