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Cricket Pads

Section to include:

• Cricket batting pads
• Cricket wicket-keeper pads
• Sizing
• Materials
• Maintenance
• Purchasing factors

Cricket Batting Pads
Batting pads are worn by batsmen to protect their legs from impact with the ball. Balls can travel at high speeds of up to 100mph and can cause lifelong injuries if they hit the legs without protection, so these are integral when batting.

Cricket Wicket Keeping Pads
The Wicket Keeper also wears pads; they can either wear normal batting pads, or specialist wicket-keeping pads if they find themselves regularly behind the stumps. They are similar, but shorter, and lighter to wear. This makes them easier to move around in.

Both types of pads are white when used in Test and first-class cricket, however they may be coloured in limited overs cricket.

Both types of pads have similar features:

• Face – this makes up the largest surface area and is separated vertically by rods; these different sections allow for the pad to be wrapped around the shin.
• Knee roll* – this offers both improved protection to the knee and allows the pad to flex and bend easily. Knee rolls are padded but do not contain the stiff materials used in the other areas of the pad.
• Top hat** – this is the area above the knee roll and protects the lower thigh.
• Wings – The wing design differs between batting pads and wicket keeping pads. Batting pads have wings set up to add protection to the areas it is needed most, but without adding weight to the pads. Wicket keeping pads have wings that are placed on the outside of the each pad for wrap around protection.
• Straps – The straps secure the pads to the legs and typically use Velcro as a fastener. Depending on the brand, 2 or 3 straps can be used.
• Instep – the instep protects the lower shin and ankles and is typically reinforced to prevent against excessive wear.
• Inners – these give extra padding and comfort to the wearer

* Some wicket keeping pads do not have the knee roll. This is because they are not subject to the same historical association of umpires using the knee roll to help judge the height of ball in leg before wicket batting decisions

** If a wicket keeping pad does not have a knee roll, this is then just seen as inseparable from the face.
Sizing

Batting Pads
Sizing does differ slightly between brands; however, we do have a list of generic batting pad sizes:
• Small – 30-32cm
• Boys – 32-35cm
• Youths - 36-38cm
• Small Mens – 39-41cm
• Mens – 41-43cm cm
• Large Mens – 44-48cm

Wicket Keeping Pads
As with batting pads, the sizing may vary slightly between manufacturers. Our generic sizing list is as follows:
• Small – 30-32cm
• Boys – 32-35cm
• Youths - 36-38cm
• Small Mens – 39-41cm
• Mens – 41-43cm cm
• Large Mens – 44-48cm

Measuring yourself
To measure yourself for the right size batting or wicket keeping pads, you should go from the middle of your knee cap down to where the tongue of your cricket shoe fits (the instep). The knee roll should always be positioned over the knee when the pad is resting on the top of the foot.

Materials
Many of the materials used apply to both Batting and Wicket Keeping pads; batting pads are heavier and as such tend to use higher density materials.

Leather
Leather has long been used in the manufacture of cricket pads; it is durable and offers good resistance against the ball. It is a traditional material but is used less in modern pads as lighter, cheaper and more durable products come available.

PVC
PVC has been used as a leather replacement. It offers more durability than leather and comes at a cheaper cost. It is also very easy to keep clean. The downside to PVC is its eco-friendliness; it is difficult to recycle and this is off-putting to many wearers.

PU

PU is the most modern leather replacement; short for Polyurethane, it offers many of the same benefits as PVC but is easier to recycle.

Fibreglass

Fibreglass reinforcements are sometimes used to give greater stiffness to the pads. Fibreglass is a common material and as such falls into the cheaper category of materials.

Cane

Wooden cane rods offer rigid support to the pads, especially on the face sections. They are cheap to source and often used in conjunction with fibreglass.

Cotton

Cotton wadding is often used in cricket pads as it is cheap to source from the leftovers of the weaving industry. It also, more importantly, offers great shock absorption and protection against impact.
Depending on how much wadding is used, it can be quite heavy and impact the flexibility of the wearer.


Aramid Fibre

Aramid synthetic fibres offer great shock absorption and strength; they are also extremely lightweight. Commonly used in bulletproof vests, you’ll most likely know of them by their tradenames; Kevlar,
Twaron, Technora or Nomex. They are used in cricket pads to replace the cane rods (although sometimes used alongside) and can be mixed with fibreglass to enhance the stiffness and protective qualities of the pads.

High Density Foams
High density foams are often used in the creation of cricket pads as they are extremely lightweight whilst offering great shock absorption. The type of foam used depends largely on where it will be placed in the pad, as the density of the bubbles within the foam define its characteristics. For pads that need to offer high shock protection, foam with small bubbles close together is best, whereas foam with large bubbles is better for flexibility. Often, different types of foams are used across the pads for the optimum combination.
Some cricket wicket keeping pads are made almost entirely of high density foam. This is because it does not matter what sound the ball makes when it hits them, whereas it does matter for batting pads.

Cricket Pad Maintenance
It is important to keep both batting and wicket keeping pads clean and free from dirt. Not only does this make them look professional, but also means the dirt does not become ingrained.
Depending on the pads you buy, you may or may not have removable/washable inners. If you do, then we’d recommend removing and washing these after each match, as dirt and sweat will settle into them. However, if you do not, then place the pads in a well ventilated area to ensure they dry through thoroughly. Fabric fresheners can limit the long-term build-up of bad odours in the inners.

Purchasing factors

Shock absorption and protection should be utmost in your mind when choosing which pads to buy, both for batting and wicket keeping.
Whilst price is also an influencing factor, higher priced pads tend to also give increased comfort levels, both in terms of wear ability (wider straps, softer materials, removable inners) and weight. Increased prices do not necessarily mean increased protection, as this is the most important factor of any pad and should not be compromised.

Why not read our other guides?

Cricket Balls
Cricket Bats
Cricket Helmets
Cricket Shoes
Cricket Bags

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