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Equipment

Okay - you've got your court, your teams, an umpire, and a handful of friends and relatives to cheer you on. What else do you need?

Excluding the ball (which is covered elsewhere), the rules require two pieces of equipment. The first of these is the bat.

Because the ball is considerably lighter (and somewhat softer), Indoor-cricket bats need not be of the same quality (or cost) as outdoor bats. Most players seem to prefer a light bat, although many outdoor players use their outdoor bat for indoor-cricket. It is obviously a matter of choice. Centres do provide cheap bats for players to use, but having your own allows you to get used to it and, in theory at least, make batting easier (I have a theory about theories, but that too is another story). The bat's dimensions are covered in the Rules section.

Outdoor-type batting gloves and bat are commonly used in Indoor Cricket

The next piece of equipment required by the rules is gloves. Each batsman must have a glove on each hand when batting. They need only be light cotton gloves, and centres usually provide these on a communal-use basis. However, if you are facing good fast bowling, standard outdoor batting gloves are recommended. The fingers and knuckles on standard batting gloves are fully padded - a good idea against a fast, new ball. Good quality leather batting gloves can be bought for around Aus$15 and should last several years.

Wicket-keeping gloves are of course worn by the 'keeper, if they so desire. They are specialised gloves which few players bother purchasing - centres always supply them for players' use.

Now, although the rules don't specify it, there is one other absolutely essential piece of equipment for male players. Affectionately known as a "box", this handy little bit of plastic serves we males well by protecting that most puritanically vague euphemism, the "groin". More correctly (but no less vaguely) termed a "protector", it is also essential you buy your own. Never, never, never lend or borrow a "box" - there are some things mates simply shouldn't share. A box will only cost a few dollars.

Knee-pads are a great idea, especially if you are the sort of player who dives around a lot. They are cheap and readily available, being used in several other sports (volleyball especially). While less common, some players also wear elbow-pads.

Mouth-guards are a very good idea too, although very few players seem to use them. In terms of the damage and dental bills they can prevent, the few dollars they cost is a good investment.

Protective eye-wear is also available, of the sort designed for squash players. However, because the ball is so much larger than a squash ball, eye-injuries are far less common in indoor cricket than in squash. In all my years playing and umpiring indoor cricket, I have only known a handful of players who wore protective eye-wear.

... and I can only recall three players wearing goalie-type face-masks - two of them were wicket-keepers, and the other one, with whom I still play, is just an old sook.

So that's about it ... a bat, gloves, a box, and perhaps a mouth-guard and knee-pads. And if you used the equipment provided at the centre, you would only have to spend a few dollars protecting your "groin"..

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