In this guide I’m going to talk about guards and protective clothing. Forget about pads and helmets, this is more specific with abdomen protectors and chest guards under the spotlight.
What is a Cricket Box?
A cricket box is also referred to as an abdomen protector or an L Guard. It is an item of equipment which is designed to protect the players’ genital region during a game. The box is generally made of tough plastic which would be strong enough to withstand fast bowling.
Roughly, it’s a rounded off triangle shape with additional padding around the plastic which will provide extra comfort.
How to Wear an Abdominal Guard
- Place the guard directly over the vulnerable genital area.
- Being a convex, the curved face should be facing away from the body.
- Hold the guard in place by a pair of compression pants or a jockstrap.
It’s important to make sure that the guard is the right size and that it fits correctly. It should cover the entire region so that the ball cannot hit any exposed areas.
The best approach is to buy a box at the same time as you purchase the jock strap or compression shorts that hold it in. If the whole is a good fit, you’re ready to wear it in the nets and in a match situation.
Differences Between Male and Female Abdominal Guards
Because male and female anatomy are different, there are subtle changes between an abdominal guard for men and those which have been designed for women. It’s therefore important to make sure that you purchase the right one.
A male guard will be more convex – it will protrude and be more like a cup. A female guard will tend to be flatter with more padding to compensate. Both should be specifically labelled so that it’s easy to make the right choice.
What is a Chest Guard?
A chest guard is a piece of protective equipment, worn primarily by batsmen, that protects the ribs and chest area. It is padded and formed from the same type of material that is used to make leg guards.
Resembling a harness, a chest guard will usually be slung across one arm with the padded area crossing the chest and ribs. Generally, it will protect the side facing the bowler only although some players like to wear a double chest guard as they may find it to be more comfortable.
How to Wear a Chest Guard
The majority of chest guards resemble a sling. There is a padded area plus a loop and a buckle / velcro strap at the top and bottom.
Let’s assume that you’re a right handed batsman: In that case, the loop will be worn across the top of the right shoulder. The strap will then be attached across the stomach, underneath the padded area.
If you are left handed, the positions are simply reversed so the loop will attach over the left shoulder. When you stand side on in your normal batting stance, the padded area should now fit snugly across your chest and it will be facing the bowler.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Wearing Protective Gear
As with all protective gear in cricket, making the right purchase is essential if the equipment is going to do its job. Here is a list of things to look out for when buying protective equipment.
- Don’t purchase a box that is too small: It should cover the entire area
- Don’t wear the box on its own: It should be held in place with compression shorts or a jockstrap
- Chest guards can be made available for right and left handed batsmen: Don’t purchase the wrong item.
Cricket Guard FAQ
Do Women Cricketers Wear Abdomen Guards?
Female players should wear an abdominal guard. While the physiology may be different to male cricketers, the simple fact is that a cricket ball will hurt and could cause serious damage if it hits an unprotected abdominal area.
For that basic reason, abdomen guards should be worn by all players.
Which Players Wear an Abdominal Guard?
All players could, in theory, wear an abdominal guard. Batsmen are most at risk so it is essential that they wear a guard.
Wicket keepers will usually wear an abdominal guard and this is an essential piece of cricket equipment when they are standing up to the stumps. Close in fielders should also wear one.