The ECB Board today endorsed changes to the regulations governing the use of helmets across the professional and recreational game.
From next season, all male and female cricketers playing in professional cricket matches will be required to use helmets which meet the latest British safety standard.
The key changes will apply to batsmen facing all types of bowling, wicket-keepers standing up to the wicket and fielders closer than eight yards from the batsman’s middle stump, except behind the wicket on the off side.
ECB is also recommending that all recreational cricketers wear helmets which meet the latest British safety standard from next season. The use of protective headgear is already mandatory for all Under 18s within the recreational game.
Full details and amended regulations will be published in the New Year.
ECB Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Peirce said: “We can see from our injury surveillance that cricket is not a dangerous sport in comparison to many other leisure activities.
"However, as we have seen in recent times, the cricket ball can cause significant injury and it is extremely important that players take the appropriate precautions when batting, keeping wicket or fielding close to the stumps.
“The latest cricket helmets have made significant strides in providing protection against potentially catastrophic injury and we would strongly advise all players to make sure their helmet conforms to the latest British Safety Standard.
"Today’s decision is a major step forward and will help make First Class cricket safer as well as sending a strong message to the recreational game about the importance of helmet safety.”
PCA Chief Executive Angus Porter said: “We welcome today’s decision onhelmet use which is the product of a joint initiative between the PCA and ECB. It provides an excellent opportunity for professional cricketers to lead by example and drive greater awareness of the importance of player safety across the whole game.”