Cricket bats line the funeral procession route for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes outside a primary school in his home town of Macksville, Dec. 3, 2014
Jason Reed—Reuters
By TIME Staff
February 25, 2015

Australian cricket batsmen will over coming weeks test a new helmet design that features a protective attachment to guard the backs of players’ necks, announced Cricket Australia representative Pat Howard on Wednesday.

Upgrading existing helmet designs had become a priority following the tragic death of Australian professional cricketer Phillip Hughes during a match in November. The 25-year-old collapsed on the field after getting struck on the side of the neck by a bouncing ball, and died two days later in a Sydney hospital. His death was attributed to a brain hemorrhage, AFP reports.

British company Masuri is producing the new clip-on helmet attachments, which are constructed from hard plastic and foam. Howard called the new design “quite innovative” and said players “are very receptive to trying it” following Hughes’ passing.

“It’s got impact protection and comes down the side of the head,” said Howard. “Players will be given an opportunity to try it out in a game outside an international, but work our way up.”

Cricket Australia says it will work with the International Cricket Council to push the new helmet design into worldwide use should trials prove successful.

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