Cricket: Russell’s helmet rethink after Thompson bouncer

Neil Russell of Instonians is floored after taking a ball on the head from CIYMS' Johnny Thompson. Pictured by Rowland White/PressEye

Neil Russell of Instonians is floored after taking a ball on the head from CIYMS' Johnny Thompson. Pictured by Rowland White/PressEye

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Neil Russell has pledged to bat with a helmet from now on against pace after suffering a sickening blow in Saturday’s Challenge Cup final.

Russell was fortunate he was not more seriously hurt after he was struck on the head attempting a hook shot off Johnny Thompson.

The Instonians captain was forced to retire hurt before later returning to the crease in heroic or perhaps reckless fashion.

However, he is adamant his previous refusal to wear a helmet was not bravado.

“Johnny and I have had some great competition over the years, I have pulled him and hooked him for plenty of fours and sixes, but it’s not any form of bravado on my part or anything.

“ I literally hate wearing helmets,” said Russell.

“I struggle to see the ball and it was a decision I took years ago.

“I never grew up wearing helmets and it was something I wasn’t accustomed to.

“But going forward against pacemen I will be wearing a helmet, it has scared me and a lot of people watching.”

The ex-Brigade man also stated on Facebook that he was gutted to have hit his old team-mate but Russell replied that he didn’t attach any blame to the paceman.

“Still feeling like s**t and sick this morning after hitting my friend and old team mate Russler, get well soon buddy,” said Thompson.

“Told you last night mate that was all down to my fault,” stated Russell.

Russell identified Rassie van Dussen as the difference between the sides.

“Over the course of both days CIYMS, and in particular Rassie, showed their class. Rassie is top-class player he scored two hundreds in two days.”