17-year old Bangladeshi cricketer Rafiqul Islam died in a freak incident, in the playing field. Rafiqul Islam was apparently umpiring when the ball came and took him by shock and also knocked him down. Sudden deaths on the cricket field are on the rise recently and it is up to the ICC to take cognizance of such incidents. The incident is a shrill reminder of the incident that claimed the life of star Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. Rafiqul was declared dead at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital late Friday as he faced the brunt of the hardball while umpiring a cricket match.
A similar event could have occurred earlier in the year when Virat Kohli almost took down the Sri Lankan umpire Chaminda Hathurusingha with one of his shot.
“A group of youths were playing cricket in the field and the boy was the umpire. He collapsed on the field after a ball hit him in the chest,” reported local police chief Enamul Haque according to AFP.
“He is from a very poor family. His father is a rickshaw-puller and mother works as a housemaid. They buried him last night,” further added Enamul Haque.
This incident should be a reminder and an alert for ICC to take cognizance and tweak the rules for the safety of umpires. In the past, there were suggestions that umpires should be wearing helmets. In fact, in the Australian Big Bash League we have seen umpires adhering to helmets for safety reasons. It is probable that with such frequents being more frequent, more and more umpires will start wearing the helmet. It may not happen overnight, but over a period of time, this is highly expected. Recently, a Sri Lankan fielder also endangered Nigel Llong with one of his throws in the recent match against Pakistan.