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Oxenford protector


Umpire Bruce Oxenford caused a stir at Edgbaston recently when he took to the field wearing a protective shield strapped to his left arm to protect himself in the modern world of big hitting cricket
The Australian official made the device, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, himself at home in Queensland using polycarbonate and placing what looks like a large table tennis bat on the end to parry or deflect any balls heading his way

Oxenford decided to take action earlier this year when fellow Australian umpire John Ward was struck on the head and hospitalised during a match in India
Oxenford, 56, and highly regarded by the ICC, premiered his shield at the Indian Premier League in March in a match containing the brutal talents of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch after he had asked India’s Ravindra Jadeja to bash some balls at it from close range to try out its effectiveness

So far it has yet to be struck in a match but if it was on the full and the ball went up in the air and was caught by a fielder it would create a dilemma as to whether the batsman would be given out by Oxenford's non-protected hand
Sportsmail's umpiring expert David Lloyd believes that would be a dead ball and a not out call

However, the relevant Law states that “The ball becomes dead when......... it lodges in the clothing of an umpire” (Law 23 1.(a) (v)

MCC have since confirmed that the ball is not dead when it strikes the protector

Read more about Law 23 (Dead ball) at the MCC website