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Cricket needs little introduction in India as we can safely say that it's the most popular sport in the country. We know the game by heart and the legends on the tips of our tongues. So we can consider this a revision of sorts for our kids. Just to make sure we give them the right guidance to play a fun game.

Cricket can be played in 2 styles: Test cricket and One day cricket. Test cricket generally lasts for five days where each team / side has 2 innings. One day cricket is played for a day only and each side has an inning each.

Essentially the game is played between 2 teams. One team sends out a man with a bat on the field. He has to stand in front of 3 sticks with bales balanced on them. They're wickets. He has to face the other team who is entirely present on the field as fielders and sends a bowler to bowl a season ball, a ball specially made out of leather for the game, which the batsman has to hit with the bat. If the ball hits the wickets he is out. If he does hit the ball he needs to run with his singular partner who's standing at the opposite wicket as a runner. They need to run to and fro till the ball is retrieved by the fielders of the opponents. That is the basic nature of cricket.

You need to concentrate on 3 areas before playing cricket. Equipment, Players and Location.

Equipment :
The equipment requirements of cricket are a bit painstaking but only go to making the game safer and more fun for your kids. The game is more than just a bat and a ball and wickets. It's all about padding up and wearing the right gear to get into the role of a master player.

Shoes :
Since cricket is played on lawns one needs to be careful that your child's footwear provides good grip. Essentially the shoes need to be comfortable since cricket has always been a leisure sport. So any kind of tennis shoes would prove sufficient. But if you'd like your child to play the sport as it is prescribed then one should carefully consider the sole of the shoe. Make sure that it provides a decent grip with pimpled rubber soles or spikes or a combination of both.

Generally batsmen and fast bowlers prefer spikes for better grip. Fielders and wicket keepers can do with ordinary rubber soled shoes.

Batting Pads : While batting you must be careful about two things. The bat and the rather hard season ball. And the most important part of you that you must protect is your shins. The ball may sometimes find its way through your bat defence and land up hitting your child's shins which could prove very painful. Similarly the bat could also miss and accidentally hit the shins. Which is why shin pads for batting are essential. Make sure you secure them well enough to protect your kid's shins but at the same time not hinder his movements while

Box : Probably the most important guarding equipment for boys since it protects the part which can prove the most painful. The area we're talking about is the groin region and the box is an essential protection for batsmen and wicketkeepers.

The Bat : You can't play cricket without a bat. This makes the selection of the bat for your child so very important. You will need to pay attention to the height of the bat and its weight. The easiest test is to make your child hold the bat upright next to him or her. The top of the bat should reach the top of your child's thigh.

As for weight, bats vary from piece to piece and it depends on the kind of wood used to craft the bat. When your kid just starts playing cricket, it is advisable to go in for a lighter bat. It would be easy for him to manoeuvre it and would also encourage him to play more. The easiest way to test if the bat weight is perfect is to swing the bat. If your child can make a good swing and a back swing without much effort, the bat is perfect.

Batting Gloves : Your child's fingers must be protected in cricket since the season ball is a hard ball. The gloves are specially designed with foam padding for each finger to make the sport safer and more fun.

Helmets : Though a helmet is a must when your child goes out to bat, invariably they may not use it. Their excuse? It is cumbersome and a pain to carry around. It may not be a practical protection, but try and insist your child wear one. Make sure your child's helmet also has a face guard too for added protection.

Clothes : Cricket is traditionally played in white clothes. They keep the body cool during the summers and don't distract the 13 players on field. But as time has gone by coloured clothes are commonplace in cricket. All you need for cricket nowadays is a short or long sleeved t-shirt or jumper and a pair of comfortable slacks or track pants.

Stumps : These 3 sticks spell life and death for a batsman. They are made out of willow wood and are 28 inches high. There are two sets, one on each end of the pitch. On top of the wickets are 2 bales. If the bowler manages to knock these over while bowling or if the batsman is stumped during a run, the batsman is out! The stumps are an essential feature of the game though often in gully cricket even chalk lines on a wall or three pieces of wood do just fine.

The Ball : A cricket ball is made out of two halves of leather stitched together and filled inside with cork. It is a hard ball and the seam where the halves are stitched adds to the uniqueness of the ball. It is also known as a season ball. You could get your child a season ball, but if you prefer that he play a safer game, a tennis or rubber ball would do just as well.

Cricket Equipment

Approximate Prices*

Cricket Bat

Rs.80 - 8000

Cricket Ball

Rs.100 - 400

Stumps (two sets of 3 stumps each)

Rs.500 - 700


Rs.500 - 1500


Rs.350 - 1000


Rs.500 - 1500

Shin Guard

Rs.100 - 200
* The above prices are indicative prices and may vary according to the quality / brand of equipment.

Players :
Cricket ideally needs 22 people and a couple of extras. Divide the teams into 11 each, the two teams will take turns in batting and bowling. A sequence of bowlers should be decided upon from the bowling side and the sequence of batters from the other. The bowlers should assign one wicket keeper and the fielding positions of the other team members. When the first batsman comes onto the pitch he will be followed by the second one too and he will act as the runner, standing on the bowler's stump, ready to run when the batsman hits the ball. The children should also choose an umpire to manage decisions of the game.

Location :
Cricket is primarily played on an open lawn or an 'oval' where a strip of earth is called the pitch. It is flanked by the stumps on either end where the bowler and batsman will take their positions. The field should be large enough to hold the fielders in position and a boundary must be set to give the batsmen a target beyond which they hit a 4 and a 6.


The 2 teams toss a coin at the start to decide who will bat and who will bowl. The batting team will send in a batsman and a runner who will take up their position at the stumps. The umpire will stand at the bowler's stumps. He traditionally dresses in white and observes the game silently. The bowler runs up to the crease and tosses the ball. The batsman has to hit the ball with his bat as far as he can. If he crosses the boundary, he scores a four and if the ball reaches the audience and beyond he scores a six. If the ball rolls anywhere in between it is the job of the fielders to retrieve it. In the meantime the batsmen are supposed to run to each others stumps. With their first switch they score 1 run. They need to keep doing this till they discover that running would be unsafe. Because if they are not in their crease (the area around the stump) they can be stumped by the wicketkeeper or any of the opponents who throw the ball at the wicket! After the bowlers finish their innings of 50 overs (in a one-day) they switch sides and take up the batting stance. The team which makes the maximum number of runs wins.