Cricket is one of the best games you can find to play and watch for entertainment.
It is a game played between two teams and those two teams consists of 11 players in each.
Any cricket team has 4 different roles in the game for which they select the best players in their team and the roles are batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping.
If you regularly watch cricket on your television or watch the cricket matches live in the stadium then you must have noticed that there is someone behind the cricket stumps who is basically called as wicket keeper and
you must have noticed that he would wear a pair of gloves and pads on his palms and legs like shown in the image below.
If you have ever got a doubt and wondered, why one out of level members in the cricket team gets to wear gloves and pads and stands behind the stumps, then it is what we will decode & try to understand in this article.
So in this article let’s take a look at why do wicket keepers wear gloves & pads in detail.
So without further ado let’s dive right into the article.
Why do wicket keepers wear gloves?
To answer the question in simple words,
Wicket keepers wear gloves in order to protect their fingers and palm from getting injured, fractured and hurt when they catch the ball behind the stumps or when any fielder throws the ball to the wicketkeeper in order to make a run out or pass the ball to the bowler.
Another reason is that out of 11 players of the cricket team wicket keepers are the ones who will receive and catch the balls more often than any other player in the team.
You might have got a doubt that do cricket balls really hurt players then what about the remaining players like fielders and batsman are bowlers who are fielding and catching the balls in the field,
Let me tell you cricket balls are very hard balls and the average weight of any cricket ball is around 160 grams but you should keep in mind that there are cricket bowlers who are able to bowl the ball at a speed of 140 and 150 km per hour on the pitch and any object that travels at such high speed, it can definitely hurt anyone because of the velocity and momentum of the object.
And when it comes to other remaining players who are fielding on the cricket ground, they also try to protect their fingers and palms from getting hurt and injured when the catch the cricket ball by taping their fingers like this,
Especially in the Test cricket matches, you must have noticed many cricket players and fielders use some sort of tape on the fingers and they do it in order to protect their fingers when they catch the ball in the air.
How the gloves of the wicket keepers actually look like and work?
Here is an image of the gloves of the wicket keepers.
Wicket-keeper’s gloves have an anterior surface designed for catching the ball, while offering protection to fingers and the palms of the hands from painful impact. Typically, the catching surface is made of rubber and has some traction-enhancing features, such as pimples.
The catching surface is coloured yellow in the image shown above. Soft padding material is placed underneath the catching surface to reduce the impact of the ball. A protective padded cuff covering the wrist area is also present on the anterior surface, but this is typically leather-encased and does not offer a catching surface.
This is the green, semi-circular piece on the glove to the right in the picture above. The posterior of the glove, which is not intended for contact with the ball, is made of leather and appears as the green backing of the glove on the left side in the picture shown. Inside the glove, rubber thimbles are used to protect fingertip from injury due to impact from the ball.
This is how wicket keeper gloves actually look like and work in general.
Do wicket-keepers have to wear gloves?
In my opinion you should definitely wear a pair of gloves if you are close to stumps like if any spinner is bowling the ball and you are keeping the stumps, it is because you have less reaction time if the ball misses the bat and reaches your palm,
as I already mentioned earlier that the normal weight of a cricket ball is around 160 grams and the length of any cricket pitch is around 22 yards which converts into 20 m of length, in that case even if the spinner falls at a speed of 75 km per hour which is very reasonable pace of any average spinner in cricket,
the impact of the ball on your palm without pair of gloves can be very serious and damaging and when it comes to is any fast bowler is bowling the ball and you are keeping the wickets then there is no doubt that you should definitely wear the gloves.
It will be a foolish idea if you don’t wear gloves due to irritation or inconvenience by wearing the gloves, maybe you should look for an alternative pair of gloves which are more comfortable and convenient for your palm size but wicket keepers definitely should wear gloves at any cost if they want to avoid injuries and risks.
And once a wicket keeper gets injured by the impact of the ball on his hand and gets his fingers broken, first of all it will obviously be A terrible experience and it can easily take around a couple of weeks to months of time to recover from the injury and get back to cricket and wicket keeping.
Note: if you are playing cricket with normal tennis ball or a light weight ball and even the bowler does not has much pace in his bowling then wicket keeping without pair of gloves is not a bad deal because the probability of you getting injured is very less.
Why Do wicket-keepers have to wear pads?
The answer is very simple,
Wicket keepers also wear a pair of pads on the legs in order to protect their legs if the cricket ball unexpectedly hits the leg when wicketkeeper fails to catch the ball in his palms properly.
It is also important to know that wicket keepers are the players who are very close to the stumps (as you can see in the image above) so they get very less time to react when the ball misses the bat and hits their hand and
legs which can make a serious injury and as I already mentioned earlier wicket keepers are also the players who frequently catch and receive the balls out of the 11 players in the team.
Because of this reason wicket keepers are the only players of the cricket team get a chance to protect their legs and arms by wearing pads and gloves and there is one exception like if a player is fielding very close to the pitch and Batsmen then he can get a chance to wear the pads inside the pant to protect his legs from the impact of ball when the batsman hits it as you can see in the image below,
Apart from these, no other player in the fielding team gets the chance to wear gloves and pads while playing the game.
With that said let’s end the article.
Because of all the reasons i mentioned in this article wicket keepers have to wear pads and gloves on their legs and palms.
I hope you have understood why wicket keepers wear those equipment while playing the game.
Do comment down if you have any other doubt and question related to cricket game in the comment section below and I will definitely write an article about it answering the question in detail.
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