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You don't really need a lot of equipment to play cricket: Bild mit Bat und Ball
Cricket Ball

Picture with Ball 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.

Cricket Bat

Picture with Bats 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.


Picture of a WicketThe 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.


Picture with Stumps and BailsThree 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.

Bails Two light-weighed sticks are placed on top of the stumps. These are the bails.
Leg Protection

Picture with Leg ProtectionsThe 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.


Picture with GlovesThe 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.

Head Protection

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.

Shoes Normally, leather shoes are being worn. Often, the shoes are equipped with spikes in order to have a better grip on grassy playgrounds.
Clothing 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.