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ECB rules helmets must be worn in county cricket

Wearing helmets will be mandatory. Credit: PA

Wearing helmets will be mandatory for professional cricketers in England and Wales from next season.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the changes, following a joint review with the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), which will see male and female professional players required to use helmets which meet the latest British Safety Standard.

The change in helmet regulations comes a year on from the tragic death of Australia batsman Phil Hughes after he was struck on the neck, just below the helmet he was wearing, while playing for New South Wales in Sydney.

Former England and Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter was also forced to retire from the game after he was struck in the face by a bouncer while playing in the LV= County Championship in 2014.

The regulation change will apply to batsmen facing all types of bowling, wicketkeepers standing up to the wicket and fielders closer than eight yards from the batsman's middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side.

Buttler smashes quickest England one-day ton

Jos Buttler had fun with the bat. Credit: PA

Jos Buttler hit England's fastest one-day international hundred, and Jason Roy his first, as the tourists piled up 355 for five against Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium.

Buttler's unbeaten 116 means he has hit his country's three fastest ODI centuries, after smashing eight sixes and eight fours in his latest from 46 balls - the equal seventh-quickest in 50-over history.


Rashid signs up for T20 spell in Australia

Adil Rashid will have a spell in Australia. Credit: PA

Adil Rashid will link up with Yorkshire head coach Jason Gillespie at the Adelaide Strikers after being released from England duty this winter to compete in Australia's Big Bash League.

The leg-spinner was not included in England's Test squad for the tour of South Africa in order to develop his white-ball skills ahead of the ICC World T20 in India next spring.

With Gillespie occupying the same role at Adelaide as with Yorkshire, the 27-year-old was expected to complete a switch to the Strikers and he has become their second and final international import player for BBL05.


England batsmen shine in one-day win against Hong Kong

Moeen Ali. Credit: PA

Moeen Ali returned to form as England inflicted a 169-run defeat on Hong Kong in their one-day warm-up match in Abu Dhabi.

There were heartening runs for all the right people as Eoin Morgan's team, batting first by prior arrangement, began their limited-overs campaign here by setting their associate opponents 342 for eight.

Then after David Willey (four for 43) struck twice with the new ball to see off both Hong Kong openers, the team ranked 15th in the world - to England's sixth - were unable to launch a credible chase.

There was nonetheless some fine batting from Babar Hayat (78) in an eventual total of 173 all out in 43 overs.

Moeen (71), Alex Hales (64) and Jos Buttler (38) all needed confidence-boosting runs after their various recent travails - and it was a case of mission accomplished for each of them.

England bowler Wood to miss Pakistan ODI series with injury

Wood will fly back to the UK. Credit: PA

England bowler Mark Wood will miss the one-day international and Twenty20 series against Pakistan after returning home for treatment on his left ankle.

The Durham paceman missed the third and final Test in the United Arab Emirates, which England lost by 127 runs as Pakistan took the series 2-0.

He will now visit a specialist back in England and has been replaced in the limited-overs squads by Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett.

Former England cricket captain Graveney dies aged 88

Graveney has died aged 88. Credit: PA

Former England cricket captain and MCC President Tom Graveney has died at the age of 88.

Graveney was one of the leading players of his generation, making 11 centuries in 79 Test matches for England between 1951 and 1969, and scoring 4,882 runs at an average of 44.38.

Appointed president of the MCC in 2005, and an honorary life member of the Lord's club, Graveney played county cricket at both Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

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