If you’re a keen cricketer, you’ll know only too well how easy it is to be pelted with the ball and spend a week with bruises after getting hit in the legs multiple times. The more time you spend injured, the less you can play the sport you love. We’re guessing that’s why you’re here reading about how to pick the right batting pads for yourself.
Cricket pads cover your legs when you’re batting so you can escape most of the potential abuse inflicted by the hard, unforgiving cricket ball. Once you begin your research into any cricket equipment like batting pads, you’ll swiftly realize that by playing this sport, a sizeable amount of your budget will go toward paying for cricket gear, especially that crucial protective equipment.
It’s imperative you don’t just walk into your nearest cricket shop and pick up any random set of cricket batting pads, though. You need to choose the batting pads that work best for you, rather than expecting a one-size-fits-all solution. You can get pads suited for right-handers or southpaws as well as ambidextrous sets. There are sizes to accommodate large adults all the way down to small children.
You need to be sure that the batting pads are properly sized so they don’t fall off or slip down when you need them most. You also want to make certain they allow for a full range of movement and that they are comfortable and durable in equal measure
Batting pads are made of different materials and have different design aspects, but the main point of all cricket batting pads to protect you from injuries caused by that lethal leather ball. Before we walk you through the four steps to picking the right batting pads, we’ll give you some quick background.
Traditional cricket batting pads are made of leather. These pads are not very durable, even when cared for properly, and they are also incredibly expensive.
The alternatives most commonly used in today’s cricket batting pads are polyurethane (PU) and PVC. These materials make batting pads that are lightweight without compromising durability and they deliver the protection you need so that rock-hard ball doesn’t leave you battered and bruised. These materials are also easy to clean and care for.
The interior of modern cricket batting pads is made from cotton and cane. Some models provide extra protection in the form of carbon or Kevlar inserts, although this is probably overkill unless you’re a very serious player. The most common styles of pads have plenty of foam padding in them as well. This padding adds another layer of protection while also providing ample comfort.
While every manufacturer of cricket batting pads has a proprietary, there are still many similarities among the brands. There are no restrictions on the design of the batting pads, and modern materials have made certain design aspects obsolete. For example, the knee roll on the batting pad isn’t necessary anymore due to the use of modern materials.
However, since umpires have always used the knee roll to help them judge how high the bounce of the cricket ball is, they found this tough task when knee rolls were no longer used on batting pads. For this reason, many companies have worked a faux knee roll into the design of their modern batting pads so everyone’s happy.
Caring For Your Batting Pads
Since cricket gear is costly, it’s only sensible that you try to properly care for it so that it lasts as long as possible. Wipe your pads clean after each game or net session so they last longer, and that’s about the extent of maintenance.
The moisture from your skin and sweat can shorten the lifespan of your batting pads. Make sure you allow them to dry out after batting, but never put them in direct sunlight. If you leave your pads in the sun, the padding will dry out and harden, ruining them completely and forcing you to spend yet more money.
Now, here are those promised four steps to picking the right batting pads the easy way!
1) Set a Budget
As previously stated, cricket gear can make quite a dent in your budget if you’re not careful. Before you set out to purchase any new equipment, you need to determine what your budget is then stick to it. Not only will you prevent overspending, you’ll also whittle down your options without needing to lift a finger.
As with nearly everything, the more money you can spend on a product, the better the quality is likely to be. If you have a more fluid budget, look at upscale pads. These will have more comfortable foam and other padding as well as specialty design features like washable, removable pad inserts. You can also expect pricier pads to be made from superior materials.
This isn’t to say that all cheaper cricket batting pads are uncomfortable or unfit for purpose. These pads will be just as useful as their more expensive counterparts; they just won’t have as many features, and they’ll lack that fine detailing that the best pads have. Regardless of your budget, you can find cricket batting pads that protect you effectively while reducing the number of bruises from the cricket ball.
2) Sizing – How and Why To Pick the Proper Size
Most manufacturers have a wide range of sizes for cricket batting pads. There are pads to suit everyone from the largest adult to the smallest child. You shouldn’t just buy a randomly sized set of cricket batting pads, though. Fit is paramount.
While exact sizing varies to some extent from brand to brand, overall they are similar. If you can’t get to a local cricket supplier to try on batting pads, you can measure yourself or your child at home in order to get the best fit possible.
When measuring up for your cricket batting pads, make sure you run from the middle of the knee to the top of your instep. Here are most common measurements and their corresponding sizes:
- 30cm-32cm – Boy’s Small
- 32cm-35cm – Boy’s
- 36cm-38cm – Youth’s
- 39cm-41cm – Men’s Small
- 41cm-43cm – Men’s
- 44cm-48cm – Men’s Large
When you pick up batting pads and try them on, you’ll be able to tell immediately if they fit properly. If the knee roll comes over your knee and the pad is resting on top of your foot, it’s all good. If this is not the case, you need a different size.
3) Choose the Right Brand
The huge range of brands available when it comes to cricket batting pads can complicate your buying decision. Why not express some national pride and buy from a manufacturer of Australian batting pads? Some of the more commonly known cricket batting pad companies include the following.
- Gray-Nicolls is a brand set apart from the others. They have a wide variety of available products which they stand behind completely with rock-solid warranties. They have a classic style and are pretty much unbeatable when it comes to the best batting pads
- Gunn & Moore has been in the batting pad business for over a century, and they are globally renowned for their quality and adaptability. They are constantly evolving and conforming to new standards to help make cricket better than ever.
- Kookaburra is a brand with a real focus on producing quality pads. They provide exceptional protection while still offering you all the comfort you need for a long batting session. Whatever equipment you invest in from Kookaburra, you won’t be disappointed.
Other popular brands of cricket batting pads include Grove, MRF, New Balance, Puma, Slazenger, Spartan, and Ton.
4) Choose the Right Cricket Supplier
There are dozens of cricket suppliers all over the continent. Again, this choice can prove overwhelming. When you’re a busy cricketer, you won’t have the time or energy to drive all over, hunting down the latest and greatest cricket equipment. For this reason, you want a cricket supplier that stocks gear from all the best companies in one convenient spot.
You can find a local supplier and go into the brick-and-mortar store on occasion to find what you’re looking for, and this isn’t such a bad idea. You’ll be able to try things on or get a general feel for them. If you’re too busy to get into a supplier and prefer shopping online, the same rules apply. Look for a supplier with a wide selection of gear and a generous return policy.
You can always pop into a store to try things out; you don’t need to commit to purchase. To get the best of both worlds, though, look no further than Meulemans Cricket Centre for all your cricket needs. You can shop online or come see us in store, and we’ll be delighted to help you find all your cricket gear.
If you play cricket on a regular basis and you want to do so safely, there’s simply no way around investing in the best protective gear. Armed with the information in this guide, you should now be able to get the cricket batting pads you need without too much time or trouble.