When Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in 2014, after being struck on the head while batting, a debate ensued about ways to make cricket headgear safer, and the authorities and the manufacturers began to work on the challenge. Among those manufacturers was Jalandhar-based Shrey Sports, whose management was determined to create safer equipment for the sport.
Raghav Kohli, owner of Shrey Sports, says the company’s research and development team worked to identify and analyse the best material for helmets. Now their product is a hit — the company says that most of the IPL teams use their helmets.
The helmet manufactured by the company is 700-720gm in weight, has a shell of plastic resins, a titanium face guard and a new Koroyd honeycomb-shaped layer in the inner cushioning part.
“My helmet remains tried and tested by all bigwigs in the game including Virat Kohli, England captain Joe Root, Australian batsman Steve Smith, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Ben Stokes and David Warner,” Kohli says.
Kohli, whose family is in its fourth generation in this business, added: “IPL brought me very good orders. I have manufactured helmets for almost all the teams, including Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, RCB, Rajasthan Royals and CSK. More than 70 per cent players are using our helmets. In fact, more than 60 per cent of players in international cricket are using our helmets.”
Koroyd is a welded tube structure which is used in various safety products in sports, such as helmets and skis. The material is extremely breathable and ultra-lightweight. “The use of Koroyd layer is giving us good results. It is a patented product which we get from Monaco. It has made the helmets more cushiony and breathable, so it’s comfortable to use in even hot, humid weather,” Kohli says. This version of the helmet is priced at Rs 24,000.
Kohli says the Hughes tragedy made the helmet manufacturing norms very stringent. “For testing, the balls are thrown at helmets at 150 kmph. Since the Hughes tragedy, the ICC has made CE certification (quality rating for European Economic Area) a must for helmets to be used by the batsmen,” adds Kohli.