A Brief History of Cricket Pads
For anyone that’s played a game of cricket, they’ll know that it can be a fast-paced and dangerous game when the players least expect it. The cricket ball, which is one of the hardest pieces of sporting equipment in the world, can shoot up to speeds of 161 km/h, making it a small meteor that can cause serious harm to anyone unlucky enough to be hit with one.
Cricket is around 200 years old, and originated in the country of England. The English quickly realised that players need some sort of protection against the increasingly skilled bowlers who were able to cause a massive amount of damage, especially to heads, hands, and legs. This is why cricket pads were first invented, and they’ve become a mandatory part of the sport ever since.
Batting pads comes in two main types the batting pads and the wicket keeper’s pads. White pads are used in first-class and Test cricket, while they tend to be more colourful in limited overs cricket, as colour has become a more prominent feature in various pastimes, such as online casino games in NZ.
The pads for gained prominence for batters around the middle of the 18th century in England. They were initially developed to provide protection to the lower parts of the legs, such as the shins, from the extremely hard leather balls that were used at the time, which was used to bowl, delivers in the game. The development of these batting pads also led to an entire change of the Laws of Cricket, which came alongside the dismissal for LBW. These laws were introduced in 1774 due to the frequency in which batsman had begun to use pads to deflect the ball away from wickets.
The pads generally protect the shins, knees, as well as the lower thigh. Each pad also had a slot at the bottom to accommodate shoes. Traditionally, pads were made from canvas, which was then stuffed with cotton that was stuck between stitched-in cane wood strips that ran vertically up to the knee. The material was then painted with water-soluble canvas paint. Leather buckles were also fairly common, being used to bind the pad to the leg. While the protection these pads offered was invaluable, they were also quite heavy.
This led to a redesign of the pads, which are now made of durable and light synthetic materials such as PVC for the outer casing, and polyesters for the lining. Most modern pads also have Velcro fastening straps that took over from the traditional buckles, and allowed for more flexibility overall for the batsman, especially while they are mid-game.
Pads tend to be the first line of defence for most batsmen, but they also have other lays of protection. One of these is a special knee roll used to protect the knee, which is also usually accompanied by a thigh pad that protects the upper region of the leg. The extra padding is used when facing blindingly fast deliveries.