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| You don't really need a lot of equipment to play cricket:
Stones, wooden pieces or lumps of leather were the predecessors of the
modern cricket ball which consists of a round piece of cork, coated with
leather and wrapped with thread. Normally, cricket balls are of read colour.
A new ball is very hard and shiny. Fast bowlers prefer such new balls,
while so-called spinners prefer older, rougher balls which have a better
grip. Size and hardness of a cricket ball is similar to that of an american
baseball. However, the leather with which it is coated is thicker and
consists of three parts which are sewed together. The seams are circular
rather than s-shaped like those of a tennis ball. Furthermore, the seams
are rather thick and thus slightly bulging. The circumference of a cricket
ball is between 22.4cm and 22.9cm and its weight between 156gr and 163gr.
Traditionally, the cricket ball is dyed red, while the seams are white.
Nowadays, also white balls are used, primarily in order to facilitate
night games under artificial light.
Sticks and crooks were the first cricket bats being used. Slowly, slowly,
crooked bats have been introduced - similar to hockey bats - which, then,
again became straighter again. Today's bat is relatively heavy and consists
of a handle and a hitting part. The hitting part consists of willow wood.
One side is curved and the other side flat. It has a maximum width of
10.8cm. The whole bat has a maximum length of 96.5cm.
wickets - there are always two of them - are wooden constructs consisting
of three sticks or stumps on top of which two small sticks are placed,
the so-called bails. The stumps are placed at a distance of 22.8cm between
the two outer stumps and pushed into the ground so that the visible height
is 71cm. The wicket size has not always been the same. In the early 18th
century, the distance between the two outer stumps was up to 1.8m and
there was no third stump inbetween. A third stump has been introduced
in 1785 only, after there had been repeated conflicts about whether a
ball had actually passed between the two stumps or not.
By the way: The work "wicket" has several meanings in cricket
- see later or consult the glossary.
wooden sticks with a diameter of 25mm each and a height of 81.3cm. At
the lower end there are short spikes which give a better hold when the
stumps are pushed into the ground about 10cm. The distance between the
sticks when placed into the ground is even, and the total width measured
from the outer sides of the two outer stumps is 22.8cm. In other words,
two sticks stand near enough so that no ball can pass between them.
||Two light-weighed sticks are placed on top of the stumps.
These are the bails.
batsman has to protect his legs and knees. A ball thrown with full force
can be quite dangerous. The weight of the protection clothing has to be
chosen very carefully. On the one hand one would opt for light, small
pieces which are no hindrance when running, on the other hand, heavier
and larger pieces are just more protection. The batsman also wears hip
protectors (under this trousers). Apart from the batsman, also the wicketkeeper
normally wears protection clothing.
batsman's hands and in particular his fingers are very vulnerable. Therefore,
his gloves have thick rubber bands affixed on the upper side which protect
the knuckles. The batsman often wears thin cotton gloves underneath the
protection gloves. They better absorb the sweat and help not to loose
the secure grip on the ball. The wicketkeeper has far bigger gloves than
the batsman, and he always wears cotton gloves underneath them. The protection
glove has a knobbed surface on the hand's inner side.
Originally, helmets were being introduced in order to protect the batsman from
balls thrown by the bowler with full force. Today, many of the players
wear helmets throughout the game, irrespective of whether they are fielding
or guarding the wicket. Traditionally, a cricket player wears a hat (which
naturally is least protective). Today, they often wear a sort of basebal
caps. When the sun burns too heavily, some players prefer a slouch hat
with a large brim.
|| Normally, leather shoes are being worn. Often, the shoes
are equipped with spikes in order to have a better grip on grassy playgrounds.
|| Traditionally, long trousers, a shirt (with long or short
sleeves, depending on weather conditions) and - even when it is relatively
hot - a sleeveless or long-sleved woollen sweater are being worn. If the
game is played with a red ball, clothing has to be of white or creamy colour.
If the game is played iwth a white ball, the players normally wear uniforms
in their team's colours. There are no special rules about numbers or markings
on the clothing.