Cricket is becoming popular globally; the day is not far away when like Soccer, Cricket will become mass mania across the globe. The sport is like a religion in India and Pakistan. In India all youngsters aspire to become Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev. Pure love of this game can be witnessed during World Cups, especially if match is between India and Pakistan.
This fantastic, nerve wracking game is played between teams of eleven players each. Due to increasing corporate interest and huge amount of money associated with the game, cricket equipment has become more and more advanced.
Cricket Bat: A bat is made of wood and has a handle where the batsman holds the bat. It cannot be longer than 38 inches or wider than 4.25 inches. The front portion of the bat is flat and back portion has a slender curve, which gives the bat thickness and balance.
Ball: The standard circumference of a cricket ball is 9 inches. The ball is made of cork at its center, wrapped in twine and covered with leather, which is stitched to form a seam. White ball is used in the short version of the game, while a red ball is used in the test cricket.
Stumps: These are three wooden poles of height 28 inches. It has a conical bottom and a horizontal groove across the top end. There are three stumps at each end, with two bails sitting across the top of them and are equally spaced to cover a width of 9 inches.
Boundary: A rope which demarcates the perimeter of the field is known as boundary line. This is marked by a thick white rope.
Sight Screen: It is the screen outside the boundary, exactly perpendicular to the width of the pitch and behind both pairs of stumps for better visibility. A black screen is used for the one day internationals, since this version is played with a white ball and a screen of a lighter shade is used for test cricket.
Cricket clothing is fashioned in such a way, so that it is comfortable and at the same time provides the proper protection to the players. Apart from t-shirts with collar, pants, hats, caps, spiked shoes, and sunglasses, following is the list of important protective gear.
Leg Pads: These are worn by batsmen and wicket keepers to protect themselves against the pace of the ball. Today's pads are very light in weight but are still great protection for the batsmen. Wicket keeper's pads are similar to batting pads, but they are shorter and lighter in weight, making them easier to move and dive around in.
Gloves: There are two types of gloves, one used by batsmen which has thick padding above the fingers. Wicket keeper wears the other gloves, which are larger in size with web between thumb and forefinger. Wicket keepers like to wear a pair of cotton inners underneath the main gloves.
Helmet: Helmets are worn by batsmen and a maximum of one close fielder or keeper. Helmet is a must to avoid any accident in the field be it full toss, top-edged or a throw, which can hit the player's head.
Abdominal Guard: It is high density plastic with smooth edge worn to protect the "privates" when batting against a cricket ball or other hard ball. Wicket keepers and fielders close to the wicket should also wear it. It is also called box, cup or cricket box.
Other equipment used by batsmen are thigh pad and rib guard for the protection of thigh and chest respectively. If you've ever been hit by a quick delivery, you'll know it's always better to use the guards as much as you can.
With the advent of "twenty-twenty" in the international cricket, the pace and spirit of the game is at its peak. There may be cricket equipment for safer and better play on the ground but for cricket fans, every time match reaches its climax its magic catches them off guard!