When you plan on playing cricket professionally, one of the first things that we need to get is a “Cricket Kit”. But often you may ask yourself – what all does a cricket kit include? Would you need to buy any equipment separately? So, in today’s article, we take a look at all that is included in a cricket kit and help answer some of the questions that you may have.
But first, what is a cricket kit? A Cricket Kit is a bag in which a cricket player carries his/her essential cricket equipment. A cricket kit includes the following items –
- Batting Pads
- Thigh Pads
- Abdominal Guard
- Chest Guard
- Cricket Bat
- Batting Gloves
- Elbow Guard
- A Kit Bag
Before we dive in to the details of each equipment, here’s a quick handy list of items and it’s purpose –
|No. of Pieces
|Both the legs
|Protect front thigh
|Thigh of the front leg
|Chest (side area facing the bowler)
|Not to be worn
|Protect fingers & knuckles
|Protect arm & elbow
|Arm facing the bowler
|Protect the Head
|On the head
|Easily carry cricket equipment
|Not to be worn
Let’s learn a bit more in detail about each of the pieces of equipment that should be included and how to identify them.
Batting Pads –
Batting pads are essential to a cricket kit. A pair of batting pads are included in a cricket kit. The batting pads are used while batting during a game of cricket (as the name suggests). The pads will help you protect your leg while batting primarily from the knee to your ankle. However, it does cover certain section of your leg even above your knee on your thigh.
When you buy a cricket kit, it is important to check whether the pads are a right fit for you. A quick way to check if the pads are the right size is to hold and rest the pad on your ankle as if you were going to wear the pad. While doing this, check if your knee is about the centre of the knee roll of the pads.
Incorrect pad size can cause enough issues while playing that it can impact your performance.
Thus, if you are buying a kit online, make sure to either check out the product at the store beforehand or go for a option to return the product in case it is a misfit.
Thigh Pads –
Thigh pad, as the name suggests, is worn around your front thigh. This is another piece of essential equipment. While batting pads protect a portion of your legs, the thigh pad adds protection to the part that is not covered by the pads.
You may notice that there is only one thigh pad whereas you will find two batting pads in the cricket kit. This is because a thigh pad is only worn on the front leg as your front leg is facing the bowler having the highest chances of getting hit. The thigh of your back leg can be generally well protected.
Some players choose to bat without a thigh pad. The primary reason for this is the discomfort one may have while wearing it because of its excessive movements. However, a thigh pad worn inside the trousers can easily restrict its position and provide comfort and protection to a batsman.
An abdominal guard is absolutely essential piece of equipment for your cricket kit. It is known by several names in the different parts of the world. Some of the most common names you may hear are abdominal protector, protective cup, abdominal box etc.
While it may look tiny as compared to the other accessories included in your kit, but it plays a big role in protecting a cricketer in the abdomen area. Getting hit in the abdomen region with a hard cricket ball can be devastating and even fatal in some cases.
When you are starting out, you may find it difficult to wear an abdominal guard. However, with practise, you will get used to playing while wearing one. An easy way to overcome this could be to buy an abdominal strap that holds the guard in the perfect position.
A chest guard, also known as a chest protector, is another piece of protective gear that is essential for your cricket kit. A chest guard is also worn inside your clothes.
A chest guard protects your ribs while batting especially when facing a fast bowler. If a bowler bowls a short delivery (one that bounces and reaches your ribs or head), a chest guard can play a pivotal role in preventing an injury if you miss hitting the ball.
You will only have 1 piece of a chest guard. This is because the chest guard is only worn on the side that faces the bowler. It protects the part of your ribs which is right under your armpit or the shoulder and not the front part of your chest. It is worn side-on instead of front-on.
A cricket bat, also known as a blade, is essential to play the game of cricket. While it is important to have the necessary skills to play a good cricket shot, however, the quality of a cricket bat is equally important in becoming a good batsman.
Your cricket kit should include a cricket bat. Typically, a cricket kit will include a bat made by the same company that has made a kit. For eg. if you are purchasing a Grey Nicholls cricket kit, it will include a bat made by Grey Nicholls. However, if you don’t like the quality of the cricket bat, you can choose to buy a different bat separately. You DON’T have the choice of swapping the bat for a different one.
While purchasing a cricket kit, make sure that the bag is big enough to accommodate the cricket bat inside the cricket kit. This may be difficult for kits made for junior cricket.
Some cricket kits also offer a pocket on one of the sides of the bag to hold a cricket bat such that the bat can be contained on the outside instead of the inside. Having a place for your bat in your kit allows you to hold all your items in one place. It is just that much more convenient to have everything in one place.
A pair of batting gloves will be included in your cricket kit. Batting gloves can protect your fingers and knuckles from injury while facing bowlers.
Most kits contain batting gloves made for a right-handed batsman (probably because there are more right-handed batsmen in cricket than left-handed ones). However, if you bat left-handed, make sure you get the gloves swapped before purchasing the cricket kit.
A quick way to know if the gloves are meant for a right-handed batsman or a left-handed one is to check the padding on the thumb. For a right-handed batsman, there will be extra cushioning on the thumb of the right glove, and little to no protection on the thumb of the left glove. For a left-handed batsman, it should be the reverse.
A simple reason for this is because the thumb of the weaker hand often gets covered while holding the bat or is protected with the handle of the bat. Having limited cushion on the thumb of the weaker hand allows the batsman to grip the bat properly and provides additional flexibility of the wrist.
Make sure that each of the other nine fingers on the batting gloves is well protected and has enough cushioning.
The elbow guard is also often known as the arm guard. It protects the elbow and the arm of your hand, especially against fast bowlers.
You will find 1 piece of elbow guard in your cricket kit. Just as the chest guard and thigh pads are worn on the part of your body that faces the bowler, an elbow guard is also worn on the arm facing the bowler. Thus, for a right-handed batsman, the elbow guard is worn on the left hand.
A helmet is another piece of essential protective gear that will be included in your cricket kit.
A helmet is worn on your head and it plays an important role in protecting your head from a short-pitched delivery that can hit your head. A helmet is also important when you are fielding close to a batsman or if you are a wicketkeeper.
While it is not yet compulsory to wear a cricket helmet while batting, International Cricket Council (ICC – cricket’s governing body) has come out with a new set of regulations that says, “if a batsman is wearing a cricket helmet, it must be compliant with the new British Standards (BSi) – BS7928:2013.“
We wrote an extensive post on our site about Cricket Helmets (note – clicking on the link will open the page in a new tab) that also provides a list of helmet manufacturers/companies that are compliant with the new British Standards. Be sure to check it out before buying.
Lastly, a cricket kit should also include a kit bag. Even though a kit bag is not going to be used on the field, it is one of the most important item in a cricket kit.
A kit bag needs to be light yet sturdy. It is ideal to have a kit bag that has a couple of pockets to keep small but important items that you may need later on such as grips, cream, sun glasses etc. Having multiple smaller pockets can make the items easily accessible and can save you a lot of time when trying to get ready for a match or a practise session.
While choosing a cricket bag, go for the one that has wheels on the bottom if you have an option. You will soon realise its importance after a tiring practise session or an exhausting cricket match.
Other Items you may need to Buy additionally –
While the aforementioned items provided in a typical cricket kit will help you get started, there are few pieces of cricket gear that you may choose to buy separately. Some of them are going to be an essential item, while others would be optional.
A pair of cricket shoes is going to be one of the most essential item that you should buy. Based on the type of player, there would be different shoes that you may choose to buy. For eg. as a beginner may want to buy cricket studs whereas more professional crickets choose to go with spikes or half spikes.
Another interesting piece of equipment that you may want to go with is the inner gloves. These are a pair of gloves that are worn inside the batting gloves.
While batting gloves are for protection, the inner gloves serve a different purpose. During a long batting session, it is common to sweat a lot. As a result of this, your hands are often wet and become slippery and the batting can become difficult.
Thus, wearing inner gloves can not only help you prevent the batting gloves from slipping, it also provides a good grip while batting. Moreover, it is a lot easier to wash the inner gloves than a pair of sweaty batting gloves.
Cricket Whites are the traditional clothes in which you shall play cricket.
A set of white cricket T-shirts and trousers is essential when you start playing club cricket. These clothes are otherwise also known as cricket whites.
It will be useful to have a pair of cricket whites. These will be useful even if you have not yet started participating in matches, but have instead joined a club or an academy for cricket training.
Zinc Cream is a useful cricket accessory to have for any cricketer. This is especially useful if you are playing in the sub-continent or any region where there is a lot of sun.
Zinc Cream acts as a sunscreen and protects your skin from darknening or even causing sun burns and blisters.
There are various types of sun screens that are available for you to buy based on the playing conditions in the regions that you play, and based on your skin type.
When you initially start playing, you may not realise that the bat grip is as important as the bat itself! Another thing that you shall soon notice is that the bat grips wear out pretty fast especially if you are a batsman having long batting sessions.
One solution to overcoming this is to buy and carry a bunch of bat grips along with you cricket kit.
In my experience, I’ve found the grip cone to be one of the most common item that is often overlooked.
A grip cone is basically a tool that allows you to put a grip on your bat handle. It is a simple piece of equipment. However, since it is not used on a day to day basis, it often gets overlooked.
A grip cone is especially useful if the grip of your bats wear out pretty quickly and you tend to change the grips of your bat quite often.
A note of caution though – a grip cone is also one of the most borrowed (and sometimes never returned) piece of equipment!
Having a cricket ball as part of the cricket kit may not be as obvious, but can prove to be quite handy.
Carrying a cricket ball or two is really helpful as it can help you with additional practice when at home or practicing with a partner (especially when you are practicing outside of your normal hours).
In addition practicing to bat or bowl, having a cricket ball in your kit can also help you focus on your fielding and catching skills.
In addition to sunscreen, a cricket hat or a cap can be really helpful on a cricket field. The obvious benefit is the protection that you get from the sun and heat.
Buying a cricket kit for the first time can be very daunting. However, knowing what all should the kit include, can help take care of some of the basic things needed.
If you are a parent and you are buying a kit for your kids, make sure the equipment included in the kit fit your child, and that he/she wears it while playing. After all, purchasing a kit is of no use if your child does not use it appropriately.