Did you know that cricket has been around since the 17th century? In the beginning, it was a sport played just by men, but with England’s colonisation, it spread wide, and women’s teams started forming as well. India, Australia, New Zealand and America are the most passionate about it, but India holds the top spot with most players and cricket fans.
It’s a sport that’s very beneficial to your health. It provides excellent exercise and builds up upper muscle strength. It builds resilience and improves your concentration. Cricket is especially good for children because it’s a team sport that involves a lot of physical activity. They also learn to follow the rules, be patient and develop good balance.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Of course, to play any kind of sport such as baseball, volleyball, or skiing, you’ll need to have the right equipment. This is especially important for kids because they’re more susceptible to injuries and mistakes while playing.
Always buy the bat from a certified cricket retailer. They’ll be able to help you with your choice and give you some advice on how to clean and maintain it. Bats come in various sizes – from size 0 for kids under 122cm in height up to size 6 for kids that are 163cm tall, and kids above 163cm use the so-called Harrow bat. One way to know if you got the right size is to see if the bat’s handle rests against the inside groin of their front leg while the toe of the bat rests against the outside of the kid’s back foot.
You should also consider the weight. Make sure to buy a well-balanced, high-quality junior cricket bat to help your kid excel in their play. If it’s too heavy, the player will get tired and frustrated soon. If the child can’t hold the bat comfortably with their top hand at arm’s length, it’s too heavy for them. Cricket bats for kids need to be of a suitable weight. Always look for a handle that’s not too thick to hold, has good filling at the centre of the bat and has smooth edges all around. Another great feature for young cricket players can be if the bat is labelled as pre-prepared, meaning it’s ready to use.
Junior cricket bats are made from English and Kashmir willow. The English one is more expensive because of its soft fibrous wood, providing good striking power. Kashmir willow is harder and denser, but it’s also cheaper. They also require special care and maintenance, so you’ll need to lightly hit the ball with a leather mallet to toughen the wood and oil it with linseed oil to protect the wood. But be careful, you can overdo it, and that’s bad for the bat.
You want the best possible helmet to protect your kid’s head when they’re batting. To concentrate, they’ll need a comfortable helmet with appropriate ventilation. The main thing you’ll need to do is measure the circumference of the child’s head. It’s a simple process you can do with a soft measuring tape. Start from the centre of the forehead and wrap it around until you get back to the same spot. Be careful; it needs to be tight but not too much so it’ll interfere with blood flow. If you don’t have a soft tape measure, you can do it with a string and transfer the size on a regular ruler.
The average size starts from 51cm for small kids and up to 62cm for adults. But keep in mind that size can vary from one brand to another, so always check their size chart to make the best measurement possible. The correctly fitted helmet will mould the kid’s head shape and be comfortable. Otherwise, it’ll move around the head, block its view and cause some injury or an accident.
Like the bike helmet, this one needs to be light and still offer enough protection. Ventilation is also important. Find a helmet with ventilation pores and side ventilation, so the head can breathe and get some air. You don’t want your kid to have an overheated head, as that can be dangerous. Chin straps are another great feature. They should be adjustable and comfortable for the child. They can have a click mechanism or a Velcro strap. Of course, there will be a lot of sweat under the helmet, so having sweat pads will be of great help. This will also help with the maintenance and cleaning of the helmet because they’re removable and machine washable.
Cricket shoes are an important piece of equipment for every player, and choosing them is not something to take lightly. There are several sorts of shoes available in different playing positions, and also shoes designed exclusively for junior players.
- Batting Shoes – lightweight, low profile;
- Bowling Shoes (boots) – higher ankle for bigger support;
- Fielding Shoes – can be used by everyone, not just the fielder.
Of course, size is very important. You don’t want your kid to feel discomfort because of tight shoes or have a size bigger that will loosen up and cause an injury while playing. They’re the same sizing chart as regular shoes, so you won’t have to take different measures and wonder which size to buy. It’s important to know what surface the child will be playing on. Will it be artificial synthetic grass or turf pitches? If it’s synthetic, rubber shoes will do best, and if it’s turf pitches, spiked cricked shoes will work best.
Always plan your budget because that way, you’ll narrow the options down by a lot. If you have the budget, go for the more expensive option for more durability and comfort. But if you have a limited budget, the more budget-friendly option will also work because kids grow up fast, and you’ll need to buy new shoes very soon.
A chest guard is a piece of cricket equipment that protects the batter’s chest. It’s always recommended that kids wear one to protect them from harm when dealing with a bouncer or an outswinger. Chest guards can also boost the confidence of junior cricketers who are hesitant to practice with the cricket ball at first. Classic chest guards are worn mainly on the side of the chest facing the bowler. They’re fastened with a strap across the opposite shoulder. Girls can choose chest protection that resembles a sports bra and functions similarly to one.