Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford caught everybody’s attention when he came to with a protective shield on his left-hand in the ongoing series between India and New Zealand.
These days, with big bats and powerful strikers of the cricket ball, umpiring has become an even tougher job. The on-field umpires have to put in all their concentration in the middle to give right decisions, but the fear of getting hurt by a cracking straight drive is always at the back of their mind.
While many thought of it to be some sort of a scanner or a device which helps the umpire in making judgements, it simply turned out to be a protective shield. We have seen many incidents in the past when the on-field umpires were hurt by a powerful stroke down the ground.
Looked to be made of clear Perspex, the shield is strapped to Oxenford’s non-dominant signalling arm, and can be used to parry and block shots fired back in the umpire’s direction.