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Cricket balls are notoriously hard and potentially lethal, hence today's batsmen and close fielders often wear protective headgear.

Indian cricketer Raman Lamba died when a cricket ball hit his head in a club match in Dhaka. Lamba was fielding at forward short-leg without wearing a helmet when a ball struck by batsman Mehrab Hossain hit him hard on the head and rebounded to wicket-keeper Khaled Mashud.

Other cricketers known to have died as a result of on-field injuries in a first-class fixture after being hit while batting: George Summers of Nottinghamshire on the head at Lord's in 1870, Abdul Aziz, the Karachi wicket-keeper, over the heart in the 1958-59 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final, and Ian Folley of Lancashire (playing for Whitehaven), in the face in 1993.

Frederick, Prince of Wales is often said to have died of complications after being hit by a cricket ball, although in reality this is not true; he was hit in the head by one, but the real cause of his death was a burst abscess in his lung. Glamorgan player Roger Davis was almost killed by a ball in 1971 when he was hit on the head while fielding. The Indian batsman Nariman Contractor had to retire from the game after being hit by a ball on the head in the West Indies.

A cricket umpire died in 2009 in South Wales after being hit on the head by a ball thrown by a fielder.[7]

Numerous injuries are reported to health institutions, worldwide, in relation to cricket ball injuries including ocular (with some players having lost eyes), cranial (head), dental (teeth), digital (fingers and toes) and testicular.