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    Cricket Equipment

    The sport of Cricket requires a wide range of equipment and clothing. First, the essential: The cricket ball is red or white, made from a cork base, wrapped in twine, then covered with leather. A regulation adult ball should be 23 centimeters (9 inches) in circumference.

    The cricket bat is wooden and made from the Kashmir or English willow tree. The cricket bat cannot be more than 38 inches (96.5 cm) long and has a maximum width of 4 ¼ inches (10.8 cm). The bat has a long handle and a smooth, flat face. Cricket equipment also includes traditional cricket clothing as well as protective gear.

    Cricket clothing consists of a polo shirt (a t-shirt with a collar), long trousers (often white, but maybe stained red in parts from polishing a red cricket ball), a sun hat, or baseball cap, and spiked shoes (for traction). A jumper—a woolen pullover—may be worn if weather necessitates it.

    As for protective gear, the batsmen, and a maximum of one fielder close to the batsmen, wear helmets, often with visors. Leg pads are worn by the two batsmen and the wicket-keeper and protect the shinbone from the ball. Fielders close to the batsmen are allowed shin guards also. The batsman wears considerably more armor, including thigh guards, arm guards, chest guards, and elbow guards. The batsmen also wear gloves, which are thickly padded above the fingers. Male batsmen wear an abdomen guard or “box,” sometimes referred to as a cup. It is usually constructed from high-density plastic with a padded edge, shaped like a hollow pear, and inserted into the jockstrap of the batsmen and wicket-keeper to protect their masculine ornaments. These precautions are due to the chance of the batsmen being hit by the ball when it is bowled. The wicket-keeper wears larger, webbed gloves for fielding, somewhat like a baseball mitt.

    Batsmen’s gloves are considered an extension of the bat, and the batsmen can be caught out if the ball touches the glove instead of the bat. The batsman’s helmet, usually with a visor, is optional, and normally worn when facing fast bowlers. It is not always worn while playing spinners.

    Fielders cannot use gloves to field the ball. If they use any part of their clothing to field the ball, it may cost their team five penalty runs. Fielders close to the batsman are allowed protective headgear, however.

    The wicket-keeper, who is directly behind the batsman and thus has the ball bowled directly at him, sometimes at considerable speed, is allowed to wear considerable protective cricket equipment, including shin pads, a helmet, a light internal glove and a large external, mitt-like glove. Needless to say, the wicketkeeper, unlike the fielders is allowed to handle the ball with gloves.
    For test cricket matches, the players wear shirts and trousers that are completely white, with the team logo on their shirt. Helmets and caps are in the team colors. If a sweater is used, the v-neck border is allowed to display the team’s color. Umpires must wear black trousers and a white shirt. In ODI matches, any of the team’s cricket equipment can be colored according to the team’s colors, and umpires can wear colored clothing also.