Why Wicket Keepers Wear Pads
Better safe than sorry, right? It’s no use getting lost in your passion for cricket during a game and getting hurt in the long run. Though not every cricketer loves them, pads are essential.
They’ve come a long way and should never be side-lined. Batsmen and wicket-keepers wear cricket pads but are not all the same. Safety is compulsory for everyone on the pitch, but so is comfort.
For this reason, cricket pads are manufactured to bring total comfort to the players.
Following the Rules
Pretty sure no one has watched a game where the players are seen wearing plain clothes. Cricketers that have seen the worst and best of times in cricket have embraced all the rules.
One of them is to always be fully dressed whenever they go out to play. The pioneers looked intently into this and had things all figured out.
Wearing pads is not really an official rule, but has been embraced as one over the years.
No one is in a more crucial position than the batsman. Their safety is usually on the rocks when they have to face a fast bowler. It’s even worse when the cricket ball in use is rigid and made of leather.
Think of all the delicate parts that needed to be shielded from a fast-moving cricket ball. In the event of a batsman’s injury, it’s not a guarantee that he’ll come back in full swing.
When they get the chance, batsmen have to be safe than sorry. If they pursue cricket as a career, it won’t be cut short for this same reason.
You could as well just improvise and use something else to protect your legs during the game, right? Wrong. Wicket-keepers wear wicket pads because they are fully adapted to perform their key function.
Let’s have a deeper look into each of the parts of a pad and see the pivotal roles they play;
- The face. That’s right, a wicket-keeper’s pad does have a face. Just to be clear, this refers to the front part that is visible to everyone. It covers a wider surface area due to the critical function it plays when offering protection to your legs.
Genuine pads have faces that are capable of absorbing the shock that’s brought about by a ball that’s bowled forcefully. Rest assured that your legs can withstand external shock and pressure and keep you safe throughout the game.
The material used is firm and synthetic to cushion your leg from shock. Synthetic material is also used to ensure durability.
- The straps. Wicket-keeping pads wouldn’t be effective if they didn’t have straps. They are used to fasten the pads and keep them firm so they don’t come off, leaving your legs exposed and vulnerable. Comfort and elasticity are other primary factors to look out for when shopping for wicket-keeping pads.
- Knee rolls. As the name suggests, the knee rolls are best suited to protect the knee area from a hard-hitting cricket ball. Knee joints are mostly vulnerable and their security should be guaranteed by all means.
- Wicket-keepers’ pads are designed with wings to maximize the protection that your legs need. They lower your chances of getting hit directly and suffering serious injuries.
Wicket-keeping pads are a crucial, yet so special part of the cricket player’s attire. Upon deeper observation, you’ll notice that they are made of synthetic fabric that is articulately fitted for the player’s safety.
Originally, they were made of leather, which was later on replaced by PVC. Leather was a bit on the heavy side and hindered the players’ movements. On the other hand, PVC is much lighter and ensures maximum comfort to the wearers.
The face is made of wooden material which is light and filled with cotton for purposes of shock absorption. Reputable manufacturers always work towards selecting quality material for their products.
In turn, the players are assured of safety as well as durability when worn and used correctly.
Aside from pads, other parts need to be safeguarded from all the rough moves in cricket. Your arms are exposed to the sun during a match, and you end up with sunburns all over your arms.
Elbow sleeves are designed specifically for this and keep your arms protected. You are better off when you settle for a stretchy cotton fabric just so you won’t feel uncomfortable.
The cotton fabric aides in absorbing sweat and keeping your arms dry when the sun is at its peak.
You’ve probably come across cricketers wearing black armbands during some games. This signifies mourning as they also realize the value of standing with their very own.
It is worn on the right arm as they observe a minute of silence before the game. This happens even when marking a certain occasion. Wearing a black armband on the right arm should never be confused with the captain’s.
A captain wears an armband typically on the left arm just so he stands out from the rest of his team. After all, there isn’t another known way of differentiating between the captain and the other cricketers.
What about the Ladies?
Rare as it seems, ladies, play cricket too, and need just about the same protection as their male counterparts. Their abdomen region is usually a sensitive area that’s prone to hard-hitting cricket balls.
Any wrong move could change their lives for the worst forever. For this and other reasons, ladies are required to be fully dressed before heading to the pitch for a game.
An abdomen guard is usually designed in such a way that the outside is tough, and the inside is comfortable. This isn’t something that should be downplayed at any point in the game.
Players need to be fully and thoroughly equipped for a game.
Believe it or not, the white clothing won during every cricket game is also protective in its own way. Here are three main reasons why cricket adopts the color white for all its games;
- Keeps the heat under control. Cricket is generally played under intensive conditions in terms of heat. The white color reflects thermal radiation and keeps the players cool during the game.
- To make the ball visible. A cricket ball is usually maroon in color and made of leather. There isn’t a better way to keep a watchful eye on it than have a clear background around the pitch. White helps maintain a clear vision of the ball throughout the game.
- White is a look of elegance. For the longest time, white has been viewed as being a class and league of its own. Well, cricket adopted it for the reason of enabling the players to look classy and gentlemanly while on the pitch.
Be on the Lookout for Counterfeit
As you advance in the game of cricket, even the things that seem insignificant will find a way of grabbing your attention. For instance, you should be able to tell fake from counterfeit when the need arises.
In our case, not all protective gear you buy is sure to be top of the range. Being in full realization of this fact saves you from wasting money on fakes. First, identify who the legit manufacturers and distributors are.
Follow up their products and see how it all goes. There’s nothing as disappointing to a die-hard cricketer as landing counterfeit products.
Protective cricket equipment may seem to get in the way of your game sometimes. At least, it feels that way when you get to put them on for the very first time. Keep an eye on your flexibility and try to work on it, especially when you have your equipment on.
Running and keeping up the required posture in your pads can be a daunting task. Guess what? It’s not as impossible as some of us might make of it. You only need to get used to it.
Flexibility is just what cricket needs to take off.
As you get your act together, don’t get lost in the middle of it all. Ensure that every vital part of your body is covered. It’s not right to take chances, especially if cricket is going to be a lifelong affair for you.
Now you understand why you have to assume certain postures and dress in a particular way when playing cricket. Knowledge is power, and this kind is absolutely a timely one.