When it comes to maintenance, cricket gloves often get neglected. They are more susceptible to wear and tear based on the conditions they get used in. This affects the performance of the batter in the longer run. Thus, maintaining the gloves are of utmost importance to increase their lifespan and reduce discomfort while holding the bat.
How can I make my cricket gloves last longer? How do I keep cricket batting gloves in good condition? These questions must have come into your mind. Don’t worry. We have listed some tips and techniques below to maintain the cricket gloves to last for a longer lifespan.
- Clean Your Gloves Regularly – Do Not Neglect Them
- Wear Inner Gloves for Better Hygiene and Glove Lifespan
- Always Air Dry Your Gloves
- Use a Spare Set of Gloves to Lighten the Load
- Apply Leather Conditioner on Gloves to Preserve Them
- Use Grip Enhancement Creams
- Replace Overused Glove Parts
Steps of Cricket Glove Maintenance
1. Clean Your Gloves Regularly
Quite often the gloves get sweaty, after a long inning or a practice session, which attracts the dirt from the playing field. If the gloves are not cleaned, they create problems holding the batting grip by causing friction against them. The friction aids wear and tear in the early stages. Therefore, cleaning your gloves weekly or biweekly is essential.
If there is a significant amount of dirt on the gloves, then add a couple of drops of a dishwashing liquid in the lukewarm water. Use a sponge to clean gloves with a gentle touch. This avoids saturation of leather with water. Hang the gloves with a clothespin to dry.
2. Wear Inner Gloves
When it comes to gloves, it’s not just about the maintenance after play. Gloves require constant care during the play too. The gloves are in constant threat of getting wet due to perspiration and sweat while playing cricket. Wet gloves affect the friction between the hand and the bat grip along with the batter’s concentration. The longer exposure decreases the lifespan of the pair too.
Therefore, wearing inner gloves (commonly known as inners) under the batting gloves helps the batter to create a barrier between sweaty palms and the batting gloves. The inner gloves ensure gloves from getting too wet. This increases the lifespan of your glove by reducing the possibility of wear, tear, and degradation of the leather quality.
3. Air Dry Your Gloves
Drying your gloves is the most important care one has to keep in mind as it directly affects the quality, life, and performance of the glove. When your gloves get wet, wring them out with a dry towel to remove excess water. Hang them out in direct sunlight to air dry them properly.
Things to Avoid
- Do not put your gloves in the machine dryer as it shrinks the gloves and makes them hard.
- Do not use an iron or hairdryer to dry the gloves.
- Do not put your gloves directly in the kit bag. Even after wearing the inners, there are high chances that the batting gloves get soaked in sweat. If the gloves are kept directly in the kit, the leather quality deteriorates over time. This also makes gloves hard and uncomfortable to use.
Keeping sweaty gloves in your kit can develop a mould or bacteria in the gear. It can be harmful for you to continue playing with such a condition especially if you have physical injuries on your hand.
Air drying reduces the sweaty smell, keeps leather quality intact and hence increases the longevity of the gloves.
4. Use a Spare Set of Gloves
If you have a busy schedule of cricket practices and matches, it is always advisable to carry a spare set of gloves. Changing your gloves in between long innings to keep the used one out to dry strategy is used all over the world. You often see international players changing gloves during the innings. Well, they keep 10 to 12 sets of gloves respective to the length of the tournament. You can keep 3 to 4 spare sets to avoid losing concentration from using sweaty gloves.
5. Apply Leather Conditioner on Gloves
As discussed earlier, leather conditioners should be used regularly to clean your gloves. The sweat from the hands generates salts all over the leather. The accumulation of the salts over a longer period hardens the leather. The hardened leather makes it difficult to grip. To clean such leather portions it is always advised to use leather conditioner over water or oil-based liquid cleansers. Along with the cleaning the leather conditioners keep shaping your gloves for future use.
Grip Enhancement Creams
Players who use non-slip or grip enhancement creams that they apply on the hand find it easier to control the bat and the swing. The grip enhancement creams have hydrophobic ingredients in their composition. This prevents perspiration by repelling water and saves gloves from wearing out. Batters like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Steve Smith always carry grip enhancement creams in their kits.
6. Replace Glove Parts
Last but not the least. You can replace the parts of the glove rather than buying a new glove every time a small part goes bad. Overused parts like leather on the palm, velcros can be replaceable at various places. The velcros are more susceptible to dirt and bits of fabric. It is a common practice to fold them back on themselves after use to keep them away from dirt.
Concentration is the key for a batter to play long innings. If gloves get a little out of shape, become sweaty, or become hard due to salt accumulation from the palm, the batter can lose the batting focus and may eventually be the cause of underperformance. To avoid all these situations, maintaining your equipment, especially gloves, should be of the highest priority for a cricketer.