All cricketers should wear head protection to reduce the risk of injury, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) says.
The call comes after top Australian batsman Phil Hughes suffered a serious head injury after a ball hit him during a domestic game in Sydney yesterday. Hughes, who was wearing a helmet but was hit in area not covered by it, is in intensive care following emergency surgery.
ACC spokesperson Stephanie Melville said even though Hughes' helmet did not prevent his injury, there were other accidents hard helmets would stop.
"Wearing hard helmets and face guards for sports like cricket is absolutely essential in reducing the chance of injury," she said.
Cricketers aged under 18 in New Zealand and Britain must wear helmets but they are voluntary for competitive adult players.
ACC figures show 5500 people suffered sports-related head injuries last year, at a cost of more than $8 million. Of those injuries, 31 were caused by cricket.
Cricket Australia has called off the current round of Sheffield Shield matches out of respect for Hughes.