Protective Gear

Protection is an important part of the game

FACT – a cricket ball is a hard object which – if it hits you travelling at speed - will hurt and can cause serious injury!

There are three ways to reduce the chances of injury:

  • use good technique when batting, bowling and fielding;
  • listen to your coaches and use the techniques they show you; and
  • wear the correct kit and protective clothing.

Fielders don’t normally wear any protection unless they are fielding close to the wicket in which case abdominal protection and sometimes a helmet may be worn.

Outfielders often wear caps or hats to protect them from the sun and reduce glare.

Wicket keepers wear pads, thick padded gloves and abdominal protection (and helmets in junior cricket).

Batsmen always wear pads, batting gloves and abdominal protection. In junior cricket you are also required to wear a helmet. Additional arm guards, thigh pads and chest pads can also be worn.

One other important piece of protection that everyone should wear:

  • Sun block, if playing on a hot sunny day, an appropriate sun protection factor should be used.

Protection - What to Wear

Batting Pads or Leg Guards

The club will supply these for junior players so there is no need to supply your own. If you are buying your own be sure to get the right size (small boys, boys or youths). The critical measurement here is the approximate distance from the middle of the knee cap down to the instep - where the tongue of your shoe would sit. Use the sizing chart below as a guide - you can’t run properly in pads that are too big!

To Fit Size
 Small Boys 30 - 32 cm
 Boys 32 - 35 cm
 Youths  36 - 38 cm

Abdominal Guard

Otherwise known as a ‘box’ – a small padded plastic protector that prevents injury resulting from the ball striking a batsman in the lower abdomen or groin area. For hygiene reasons, you must supply your own box and bring it with you to all coaching sessions and matches. You should never share abdominal guards for hygiene reasons. Fit as shown left (not the other way up!) and wear pants that will keep the box in place.

DO NOT wear boxer shorts for cricket - despite their name - they will not keep your box in place!


The club will supply junior helmets for practice and matches, ensure that the helmet fits and is properly adjusted before you go in to bat. Helmets are quite heavy and it can get quite hot wearing one. If purchasing one look for lots of ventilation and ease of adjustment. If you want the Rolls Royce of helmets, go for one with a titanium grille as these weigh considerably less than steel ones but are a great deal more expensive!

Helmets MUST be worn by batsman and wicket keepers ( under 18 year old) if a hard ball is being used.

Advice to young players

·         Find a helmet that FITS - remember that they can be uncomfortable at first and you have to get used to wearing them. Practice your shots as often as you can with your helmet on.

·         If you are using a club or school helmet try them on in PRACTICE sessions and find the one that is best for you. Wearing a sweat band or a baseball cap the wrong way round can help make them fit better. Adjust the chin strap so that the helmet is secure.

·         If you can, take the helmet OFF between overs or during any break in play - it can be warm wearing a helmet so take the chance to cool down -and take drinks at regular intervals.

·         Make sure that the FACEGUARD is adjusted so that the ball can't go between the helmet and the faceguard -if you are not sure ask your coach or teacher. Remember that if you are Under 13 or younger you will be playing with a junior sized cricket ball.

·         Make sure that the NUTS holding the faceguard to the helmet are done up tightly so that the faceguard can't move about.

·         Look after the helmet - don't throw it around or hit it - you want it to be in its best condition in case the ball hits it.

Batting Gloves

The club will supply batting gloves for practice and matches. If you are left handed – makes sure you use left handed gloves or use ones that are suited for right and left hand use. If in doubt ask your coach for advice.

Wicket Keeping Gloves and Pads

The club will supply wicket keeping gloves but regular keepers may wish to purchase their own.; these can be quite expensive to buy.

Inner gloves (usually chamois) are also a good idea for wicket keeping, as they stop the hands from sweating too much.

Note that wicket keepers have different pads to those that batsmen use, The WK pad finishes or tapers to a point at the knee to allow for better flexibility. As with other kit, the club has these available for juniors to use as required. Wicket keepers are also required to wear helmets in junior cricket - batting helmets are used for this purpose.

Arm Protection

This is a lightweight expanded foam pad that fits around the forearm of your top hand and fastens with velcro straps Some players find these difficult to get used to, but they are well worth persevering with as a blow to the forearm from a cricket ball is a very painful one. These are usually ambidextrous and suitable for right and left handed players and can be purchased for around £5 - £10 or can be more depending on what brand you buy. The club does not provide arm guards and these are not considered essential for junior cricket.

Thigh Protection

Thigh pads come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Designed mainly to protect the leading or front leg above the leg pad and below the hip, but also available for the trailing leg. They can be awkward to fit and they can also restrict running between the wickets if they are badly fitted or the wrong size. Some of these are ambidextrous and others state whether they are for right or left handed batsmen. You can also get specialist padded shorts, where removable thigh pads slot in for batting which are easier to fit. Again, check to see whether these are right or left handed - these also usually have a slot to fit an abdominal guard. Definitely worth trying to get these at a local shop so you can get the right size and fit or alternatively make sure any on line retailer operates a returns policy for unsuitable items.

Chest Protection

Designed to protect the ribcage, less commonly seen in junior cricket at u11 and u13, as bowlers in this age bracket tend not to generate as much bounce as their older and taller couterparts at u15. A matter of personal taste, but certainly not a requirement for junior cricket.