List of Essential Cricket Protective Equipment
“May cricket continue to flourish and spread its wings. The world can only be richer for it.” captures the spirit our country has for cricket. Australia is, after all, one of the best in cricket, and we cherish it so. This beautiful team bat-and-ball game amazes us with its simplicity and excitement. Sure, some might say that football is more fun, but I’ll take cricket every day of the week. Not only is it exciting, but it’s also quite easy to play.
But no matter how much I love it and how easy it is, it’s still a sport and injuries can happen. You might train and follow the perfect nutrition plan so that you’re in your best condition, but it can be dangerous, especially as the ball is hard and solid made with compressed leather over a cork core. Therefore, it’s crucial to have all the necessary protective equipment for the sport. Luckily, there are many pieces that can make a difference.
Underwear, Jock Strap and Box
As the ball in cricket regularly reaches a velocity of 100 kilometres per hour and it’s almost always near the ground, it’s normal to fear for your private parts. With that in mind, one of the key pieces of defensive equipment to have is quality cricket inner wear. This applies to both men and women, and both genders need to get comfortable, quality underwear and a cricket box. But that’s not the only use for underwear. If you’ve ever played cricket, you’ve probably experienced the tiredness of your legs and the humidness in your pelvic region that comes with it. Cricket is a hard sport that demands physical exertion. Therefore, you need to take into account the comfort and the features of everything before choosing.
The first thing you need to consider is the material, especially when buying briefs and trunks. From my personal experience, your best choice is cotton. As cricket season in Australia is prominent during summer, they need to have good breathability. Breathability is crucial in hot weather as it helps keep your body cool. If you don’t want to find yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you sweat too much and your underwear sticks, then cotton is grade A in my book. Stretch cotton, in particular, is lightweight and allows for a pleasant experience as you’ll always be cool, and it will let you maneuver and make fast-paced movements on the field.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for additional, performance- and comfort-boosting features, then you should know that some cricket underwear like undershorts, shorts, and tights can be fitted with some. If you’re particularly sweaty and don’t enjoy the moisture, there are moisture-wicking fabrics. By using moisture-wicking fabric, the sweat will travel on the surface of the fabric and then evaporate. Thereby, it’s also a great thermal regulator. Or, if you get fatigued easily and your muscles hurt, you should get compressed underwear. This feature improves performance by improving blood circulation and reducing muscle vibrations. As such, the muscles in your body are more active, and they can exert more power. You also waste less energy, as the use of strength and explosive power is more energy-preserving. As a result, they lessen muscle fatigue and speed up recovery time.
Last, but not least, all cricket inner wear must come with a pouch for an abdominal guard, which is called a box. The name is self-explanatory, and you use this part to protect your private parts from the fast-flying cricket balls. These accessories are of great help as they absorb the shock of the cricket ball, and they’re easy to use. You just need to take off your undergarments, find the pouch and put the box in it. The best way to use the box is by putting it underneath your underwear, not over it. It might need a little getting used to, so bear with it. Finally, you put the cup with the narrow end facing backward, and you should make sure that it’s pressed snuggly. You don’t want any slips after you put on your underwear. Another way to get this needed protection is by using cricket jock straps, which are designed to serve the same purpose. Additionally, they can improve your comfort as there’s a lot of free space and flexibility due to there being only two straps that hold them to your body.
Pads, Guards, and Gloves
The pelvic area of our body is not the only sensitive region. In my experience, the ball doesn’t discriminate where it hits, and I’ve hurt my thighs, hands and arms multiple times. If you don’t want to go through the pain I did, there’s equipment meant to protect those body parts as well.
If you’re looking for knee and shin protection during batting, you should get batting pads. These fit on the front of your lower leg by using velcro straps. Again, comfort is at the forefront of considerations when deciding on the ideal batting pads. Cricket requires running and quick turns, so the pads shouldn’t limit your dexterity and mobility in any way. If you’re looking for upper leg protection, there are thigh guards. There are outer and inner types of thigh guards. These guards go on the front of your leg always. If you don’t want your thigh to swell up from taking repeated hits, you should get a pair.
If you’re looking for upper body protection, you should consider arm and chest guards. There’s nothing worse than getting the air knocked out of you as if you’ve been submerged underwater with no air. Or when the ball hits your upper arm and you feel buzzing pain all day. Arm guards go on the arm that is facing the bowler. They protect you from sharply rising deliveries. On the other hand, chest guards are worn on the area of your chest facing the bowler.
Finally, hands are the part of your body that come most in contact with the cricket ball. Unless you want to feel extreme pain and broken bones, especially if you’re up against a fast bowler, gloves can make all the difference. They have a thick, protective material and high-density foam to help absorb the impact of the ball.
Despite all the possible body protection, you’d still be “naked” without one last piece – the cricket helmet. Cricket helmets consist of two parts, a harder “shell” part and the grille. The shell protects the top of your head and forehead, while the grille protects the face and the sides of the head. And while you might find playing with a helmet initially distracting, cricket helmets are made to provide all the viewing angles needed to play without obstructing your vision.