Australian cricketers will have to wear neck protectors over helmets when facing fast or medium-pace bowling from October as part of changes to playing conditions for the 2023/24 domestic and international seasons.

Cricket Australia’s governing body has recommended the use of neck protectors since the death of Phillip Hughes in 2014, but a number of senior players, including David Warner and Steve Smith, have resisted wearing them.

They will now have to wear them from October 1 when playing at home or in international cricket abroad or face penalties under rules to be introduced by CA.

“Head and neck protection is extremely important in our sport,” Peter Roach, California’s president of cricket operations and scheduling, said in a statement.

“The neck protector product has come a long way in recent years and the decision to make it mandatory comes as a result of a lot of advice and consultation with a wide range of experts and stakeholders.”

The authorization comes a week after Australia all-rounder Cameron Green was hit by keeper Kagiso Rabada on his helmet-mounted neck guard and was substituted from the first ODI against South Africa due to concussion.

It was one of a raft of changes to playing conditions, which includes scrapping the automatic six runs awarded to batters who hit the roof of Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium during Big Bash League matches.

Umpires will now decide to award a six if they rule that the ball has gone out of bounds.

The use of Covid substitutes, which replaced players who tested positive for the coronavirus, has also been cancelled.

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