We have heard stories of cricketers going to bed, clasping their favourite bats. Yet, the only batsman who has made 1000 runs in an innings in representative cricket, Mumbai’s Pranav Dhanawade, prefers to show his love for his cricket equipment differently. He ensures that he cleans his kit at the end of each day, whether he has used it at the nets or in match.
“The kit is our first priority; it comes before everything else,” says the lad who notched up an unbeaten 1009 for KC Gandhi School against Arya Gurukul School in the HT Bhandari Cup inter-school tournament in January. Indeed, it is fascinating to hear the 16-year-old share his insight on the importance of maintaining equipment.
Here’s what he says:
The first thing to do after buying a bat is to tune it by knocking with it. Typically, a cricket ball, tucked inside a sock and hung by a thread, is stroked repeatedly with the bat so that it is gets ready for use at the nets or in a match. On a daily basis, clean the bat with tissue paper. And when you spot a crack or a chip in the bat, get it threaded soon.
It is important to keep the pads clean. Wipe dirt off with a wet cloth but if necessary, and if material of the pads allow it, you can wash them clean as well. Attention must be paid to the straps to ensure that they keep the pads in place. If necessary, get the straps changed.
When sweat soaks the gloves, it becomes difficult to grip the bat handle well. Gloves must be dried to ensure that your grip on the bat is always optimum. Modern gloves can be washed as well so they always present a clean look.
Elbow and shin guards
Just like the pads, these should be washed as soon as you finish your training or a day’s match. For these can smell of sweat. Besides, cleaning will help avoid unnecessary skin issues.
Maintaining it is crucial. Sweat can have a massive impact on the inside of the helmet besides bad odour. Wash the inside of the helmet after every innings or net session.
Ensure that they are in top condition, paying special attention to the spikes or studs. Keep the insoles clean, letting them get fresh air so that they don’t exude bad odour.
Pairs of socks
Ensure they are washed after each practice session or match. Surely, you don’t want them to be smelly!
It is not for nothing that he describes his kit as his best buddy. “A great, well-maintained kit will not only last longer but also makes the player feel confident that he can deliver his best each time. That’s why after each practice session, I clean my kit before doing anything else,” Pranav Dhanawade says, exhorting others to treat their kits with immense love and respect.