Cricket: Bowled over by Bradbury

Jon Hardy & Co has gone through a number of changes since its inception, and continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the cricket market. David Pittman reports

Jon Hardy & Co started life as Chase Sport Ltd, but after the cricket bat division was sold-off, founder Jon Hardy put his name behind the new-look business.

Hardy himself is an ex-first class cricketer, having played in both South Africa and England, with first class sides Hampshire, Somerset and Western Province.

The business’ main exposure to the market is through Masuri cricket helmets, which Hardy himself brought to market in 1989. He started with a stainless steel grill that was developed as an alternative to the polycarbonate face guards of the 1980s.

This quickly found favour with cricketers, Dean Jones, Geoff Marsh and David Boon, the first three customers for the Masuri stainless steel grill after playing against Hardy as Somerset played Australia in a warm-up game for the 1989 Ashes tour.

The stainless steel grill was soon followed by the first lightweight adjustable ‘one-size-fits-all’ helmet shell, followed by the first titanium grill, fielding grill and wicket keeping helmet. Since those early days, the Masuri helmet shape and style has stayed constant whilst the technology and safety features have evolved year-by-year.

General manager Sam Miller says the current

Masuri helmet is unique in design. “The composite shell has a cavity which is injected with polyurethane foam. This foam-filled cavity acts like a crumple zone absorbing the force of impact when struck.

“The benefit of this over traditionally made helmets is that the helmet is slim-line and lightweight whilst maintaining the impact protection qualities required to protect the head.”

For the full article, see the digital issue of SGB Sports April here.