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Ashok Dinda was struck with the ball during a practice session. (Source: File)

Cricket has long moved from hats and caps wearing batsmen to helmets to counter the threat of bouncers and prevent head injuries. Even fielders standing close to the batsman now wear helmets with the likes of wicketkeeper or forward short leg keeping themselves safe from a mishap. Even umpires standing across from the batsman wear a shield to guard themselves from shots that could come towards them. But one player who continues to remain unguarded and in the firing line remains the bowler.

An example of the danger to the bowler was witnessed this past week when Ashok Dinda was struck on his head while bowling during a training session for Bengal in Kolkata. Following the incident on Monday, India spinner R Ashwin and pacer Jaydev Unadkat have called for some sort of safety mechanism for the bowlers as well.

“About time that a “face-mask” for bowlers makes its way into all that has evolved in cricket. Its [sic] scary how this [sic] kind of incidents have become frequent in our game! Hope you good Dinda @dindaashoke .. What do you say Ash bhai? @ashwinravi99,” tweeted Unadkat. To which, Ashwin replied, “Been saying it since 2011, these kind of incidences [sic] never used to happen in the pre T 20 Era. Something has surely changed , wonder what it is🤔”

Birendra Vivek Singh’s drilled drive went through Dinda’s hands and struck him flush on the forehead on Monday. Following the blow, Dinda lay on the ground before getting up and bowling a few more balls and eventually left the ground.

Thankfully the bowler has been cleared of a serious injury. According to PTI, Dinda’s scans returned clear after he was taken to the hospital. “Dinda looked fine as he completed the over before returning to the dressing room. As a precautionary measure, he was taken for scans. There is nothing alarming but he has been advised two days of rest,” said a CAB official.

An integral part of Bengal’s domestic setup for over a decade, Dinda played 13 ODIs and nine T20Is between 2010 and 2013. Now devoted to the state team, Bengal, placed in Group D in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, begin their campaign against Mizoram in Cuttack on February 21.