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It was used as a protection against the fiery bouncer, giving more scope for the batsman play without fear. Over the years, there have been other gears like the elbow guards, abdominal guards, thigh pads, chest guards and the like.
We take a look at the changes in basic cricketing gear which have been essential to cricket ever since its inception:
IAN KINGTON / AFP
Bats have come quite a way from during the time of the legendary Sir Don Bradman. The shape and length have remained more or less the same, but they have become heavier. More wood has gone into it making the bat heavier which helps the ball travel faster from the bat. The ‘sweet spot’ in the bat, now has more ‘meat’ which have seen the bat dominating the ball in today’s sport.
STR / AFP
The pads have looked the same as in the past with the difference being the addition of more material to enhance protection. They have become thicker courtesy of technological advancements, but that hasn’t made it heavier in any way.
MARK RALSTON / AFP
Earlier, gloves were mainly used for a better grip of the bat and that there was a bit protection for the knuckles. It wasn’t enough. With bowlers bowling faster, the batsmen now have better protection throughout the hand with more padding to help absorb the blows better.
INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP
Cricket was played without helmets for a long time and it came into wide use in the late 70s and 80s. Today’s helmets are lighter without compromising on the protection with grills in the front. All this without any issues concerning sighting the ball and ventilation. Recent changes have been implemented too on the sides of the helmet, on the back of the neck in the aftermath of the tragic demise of young Aussie batsman Phil Hughes.