Why are different items of cricket kit so important for playing the game safely?
Posted: Nov 23, 2013
When a cricketer takes to the field to bat, they are often encased in a whole range of kit that offers them important protection. This kit allows them to play the game safely, and the majority of it is mandatory for players, particularly in the younger age groups. Cricket is a game that, if not played sensibly and with the correct equipment, can leave participants running the risk of serious injury.
Particularly in lower age group cricket, it can be important for players to get used to wearing the full, proper kit. Even though they may be playing with a slightly softer ball than the one that would be used in a proper competitive match, it gives them a great opportunity to understand how important for them it is to keep their eye on the ball, and also how safe and secure they feel if they have the correct equipment and are using it properly.
Here, we are going to take a look at some of the main items of kit that players need when it comes cricket equipment in the UK, and why each of them are so important.
A helmet is a piece of kit that is vital in the prevention of serious cricketing injuries. Bowlers can send the ball hurtling down at a decent pace, and a short pitched delivery that comes back towards the batsman’s face is never particularly easy to play or deal with. It is interesting to remember that even in professional cricket, helmets are not compulsory (they are for age range cricket, up to and including under-19s), and they were not even worn all that regularly by professionals until the relatively recent past. The first instance of a batman wearing a helmet in a test match was in 1978, however nowadays it is almost unheard of for a professional cricketer to face fast bowling without one.
Leg pads are worn by the two batsmen on the field, the wicket keeper and any fielders who are fielding in close proximity to the batsmen. They are used to protect the players shin bones and batsmen playing in competitive matches are never seen without them.
There are a number of other pads that batsmen can used to offer them added protection against the bowler – these include thigh guards, arm guards, chest guards and elbow guards, of course each of these protecting a different part of the batsman’s body.
Batsmen wear a pair of gloves with thick padding above the fingers and on the thumb of the hand, protecting against the impact of the ball should it come into contact with the hands. Wicket keepers also wear a different type of gloves to help them perform their role; the gloves larger and more like mitts, with webbing between the thumb and index fingers.
Spikes are the name given to the shoes that all cricketers wear. The metal spikes on the soles of these trainer-like shoes give players more grip and traction when they are running. Some players, bowlers for example may have more than one pair – a bowling pair and a batting pair, perhaps.
This article takes a look at cricket equipment in the UK, and some of the different items of kit that players of all age ranges may need in order to keep themselves safe and protected whilst on the field.
As a professional freelance multimedia journalist, James Crouch writes on a range of subjects, with his passion and focus being sport and news. He writes regularly for print, online, radio and TV.