Commonly known as the “Box”, this essential piece of protection must be worn by all batsmen to protect the groin.
Special batting shorts are fitted with a pouch that holds the box in position and prevents it shifting when running. Don’t just buy your child the box. For a few pounds more buy get the full batting shorts. They can be worn on top of underwear saving changing room embarrassment and often come with integral thigh pads.
As mentioned above, these often come as part of a batting shorts set.
For beginners they are rarely needed and can impede movement.
However as players progress to higher levels where the bowling is quicker, being struck on the left thigh for right handed batsmen is a common and painful experience. Less common but equally painful is being struck on the inside of the right leg (for right handers). Some batting shorts have a small pad in that location.
Separate thigh pads can be purchased outside of a set. These are simple plastic foam-based pads that strap around the thigh. The larger they are the greater the protection they afford but the more movement restriction they impose.
In junior cricket, especially at club level, the ball rarely bounces high enough to strike the forearm or chest so extra protection here can impede more than it protects.