One of the most common injuries in cricket are fingers, generally damaged during fielding but also batting. Gloves are an essential requirement in the young players’ kit.
The vast majority of gloves available on the market are perfectly suitable for the younger age groups. As junior players play at higher levels, including adult cricket, the degree of protection afforded by gloves becomes more significant.
The key factors for everyone to consider when selecting gloves will be :
Generally there are three sizes :
Small Boys / Girls – upto 165mm
Boys / Girls – upto 175mm
Youth – upto 190mm
Measure the hand from the end of the longest finger to the wrist. This should give a good guide to size.
Flexibility vs Protection
Generally the more padding and protection offered by the glove the less easy it is to flex the glove and therefore the harder it is to grip and manipulate the bat. Clearly there is a balance here. The player who feels they cannot manoever the bat effectively may well get hit on the hand more. Once again the speed the ball reaches a batter in junior cricket requires a standard level of finger protection.
Modern inexpensive gloves often are predominantly PVC which holds in the heat and moisture making for an unpleasant batting experience and often a feeling of poor grip. Cotton soaks up moisture to a degree but can still cause sweaty palms. Look for gloves with good palm ventilation but also consider leather. Another possibility is to have a set of cotton inners. With most juniors only batting for relatively short periods of time this might seem a little over the top. As they become more experienced such niceties become more significant.
Some gloves have a simple wrist band, these are easy to use but can stretch and leave a poor fit. Other gloves more commonly have velcro fastening straps. These are excellent for adjustment, however the velcro frequently gets embedded grass blades that degrade the ability to hold the glove firmly to the wrist. Once binding to the wrist starts to go, it is generally time for a new pair of gloves.