We've witnessed many changes over the years, from technological advancements to media evolution, and practically everything has changed tremendously, including sports. It's worth mentioning because sports provide people all over the world with possibilities and fun. How can we talk about sports without mentioning cricket? As the game progressed from Test matches to the T20 World Cup, the clothes, bats, cricket helmet, the wicket keeping pads, and ball all changed.
Wicket-keeping pads are one of the most essential and helpful inventions in the history of cricket equipment. Cricket wicket-keeping pads have traditionally been constructed in the same way as cricket batting pads. However, recent years have seen some significant advancement due to the gradual adoption of contemporary materials.
Wicket-keeping pads come in a variety of sizes and features. They all have advantages and disadvantages, but which one is ideal for you? How do you choose the right wicket-keeping pad? You don't need to be concerned if you don't have an answer right now; you will by the end of this blog. Please read this blog till the end because we have a bonus paragraph for you but before that, let's go through some of the features to look for while purchasing a keeping pad.
Wicket-keeping pads in cricket are typically thought to have seven distinct features. Depending on the materials used and, in some cases, the complexity of their construction, each of these aspects provides varying levels of protection, comfort, and durability. This section will quickly go over the various features and how they may affect the player.
- Face: The face of a cricket wicket-keeping pad is usually the most significant surface area and comprises several vertically divided parts. The pad can wrap around the shin in these vertical areas, making it easier to run and move around in. Each portion would traditionally have a cane shaft for stiffness and various cushioning materials to act as shock absorbers.
- Knee Roll: The knee roll on a cricket wicket-keeping pad has two objectives. First, it provides better protection around the fragile knee joint, and it also allows the pad to flex and bend with the rest of the leg. The knee roll is separated into several horizontal portions to do this, which, unlike the face, does not generally comprise a stiff material but does include padding material. Unlike batting pads, keeping pads do not appear to have a history of umpires using the knee roll to assist in determining the height of the ball in lbw batting decisions. As a result, various new cricket wicket-keeping pad designs have been developed that ultimately do away with the knee roll.
- Top hat: The top hat is the region on the cricket wicket-keeping pad above the knee roll that protects the lower thigh from ball hits. The top hat provides only a little protection compared to other regions because this area has a lot more muscle to protect the bone. The top is sometimes inseparable from the pad's face in some cricket wicket-keeping pad designs where the knee roll has been deemed redundant.
- Wings: Because the wicket-keeper stands face to the stumps, unlike cricket batting pads, cricket wicket-keeping pads do not need to represent certain sideways on dexterity. To provide additional wrap-around protection, the wings are placed on the outside of each pad.
- Straps: Traditionally, leather straps and metal buckles were used to secure cricket wicket-keeping pads to the leg, which were heavy and, in many cases, painful. Modern straps are padded, significantly more expansive, and employ Velcro to ensure a secure, comfortable fit.
- Instep: In most situations, the instep is reinforced to protect the wicket keeping pads from wear caused by contact with both the wearer's shoes and, in certain cases, the ground.
- Inners: Many cricket wicket-keeping pads have additional bolsters on the interior to provide a softer contact and increased airflow in the event of unusually high impacts. In rare circumstances, the inside padding can be removed and washed in the washing machine to improve cleanliness.
- PVC: PVC is a synthetic plastic material that is occasionally used as a substitute for leather since it is highly durable, inexpensive, easy to work with, and clean. PVC has gone out of favor in recent years due to its excellent chemical resistance, making recycling difficult.
- PU: Polyurethane has mostly replaced leather as the favored material, providing many of the same benefits as PVC while being more easily recyclable. Many of the newer high-density foams used as lightweight shock absorbers are made of PU.
- Leather: The outside layer of most cricket wicket-keeping pads has traditionally been made of leather. However, modern material advancements have resulted in the adoption of less expensive, lighter, more lasting, and easier to clean materials, which may be seen on certain retro-styled specimens.
Other than these materials, cane, fiberglass, aramid fiber, cotton, high-density foam, etc., are also used to make wicket-keeping pads.
- Sizing: Like several other products, a proper size in cricket pads is also essential. Cricket wicket-keeping pads' actual size and fit vary by brand, and no advice will ever be 100 percent accurate. Please be sure you take your measurements from the top of your instep arch to the middle of your knee. Finally, the knee roll should always be positioned over the knee when the pad is resting on the top of the foot. If this isn't the case, the measurement is off.
- Purchasing: When with other protective gear, as you progress through the cricket wicket-keeping pad ranges and notice the price grow, you'll wonder, "So what am I getting for my money?" In this scenario, spending extra will result in increased protection to deal with the higher ball speeds. Still, in most circumstances, you will notice a weight reduction and increased comfort levels. Wide straps, improved ventilation, and softer but not necessarily more durable materials will help reduce weight, while wide straps, improved ventilation, and the use of more delicate but not necessarily more durable materials will help boost comfort.
- Maintenance: Most modern cricket wicket-keeping pads have PVC, or PU faces readily cleaned with a moist cloth. The padded inners will gradually disintegrate, accumulating dirt and sweat. Removable and washable inners are excellent in this instance, but if they aren't available, we recommend storing the pads in a warm, well-ventilated location until they are scorched. Then, after brushing off any surface debris, clean any stains with a warm, mildly soapy cloth. Long-term usage of fabric refreshers like Fabreeze can help reduce unpleasant odors.
This was all about "how to select the right wicket-keeping pads?" Following is the bonus paragraph we promised.
Bonus: Product of the month
SG Nylite Wicket Keeping Pads
This wicket-keeping pad is made of premium quality polyvinyl chloride and has a soft foam-filled bolster. It has high-density foam padded with a thermoplastic polyurethane insert. The broad-medium density foam center stripped provides extra shin protection. Its compact size makes it stand tall among other products. This is the best wicket-keeping pad you could ever have.
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