How many times have you been called for being caught behind after the ball completely struck your pad’s strap? Or been properly caught but only as a result of the ball flicking your glove’s wristband when it was trailing in the wind? Or been exhausted because it appears as though you are wearing a mattress on each shin due to how bulky your pads appear in comparison to the rest of your body?
Not often, probably, if you’re a man. Of course more often if you’re a woman. Women typically have narrower wrists and shorter, more slender lower legs than men. In many ways, the bodies of women and girls differ from those of men and boys. However, they have allto employ the same tools.
Female cricketers must bat with excess straps poking out of gloves and proportionally thick pads unless they resort to buying in the children’s area, where quality might be subpar. This could shorten innings, steal runs, and ruin careers. They might also score undeserved wickets, but the disparity is unfair nonetheless.
If the equipment they need to perform their job is not up to par, how are female cricket players supposed to fulfil their potential? Happily, a rise in the amount of gear created especially for girls and women is addressing the problem; this is a developing trend that extends beyond only aesthetic considerations.
Gear specifically designed for girls and women has been released by well-known companies including Kookaburra, SM, and Viking. According to the company website, Nexx debuted in 2021 “exclusively to satisfy the requirements of Female cricketers.” The HK line is a result of a partnership between SM and Heather Knight, the captain of England. Valkyrie is a fitting name for a Viking.
The bats are much lighter, according to Greenway. “Many producers are working to increase their height to 2′ 6″ or 2′ 7″ [1.077kg to 1.106kg]. The true sweet spot is there.” a few have”a longer handle but a shorter blade. The bat is therefore the same height as a short-handle bat, but the weight has been reduced in the blade by shortening it.
Women’s balls could also use an update. It currently measures 21 to 22.5 cm in circumference and weighs between 140 and 151 grammes. These measurements for men’s cricket range from 155.9g to 163g and 22.4cm to 22.9cm. There is a case for women to use a very different ball because spinners make up a larger percentage of bowlers in women’s cricket and because most males have hands that are noticeably larger than those of women.
“Compared to the men’s game, there aren’t very many female spinners who can really rip it and bowl brilliantly.” modifications that change as frequently as their stock delivery,” remarked Greenway. “I wonder if it would be better to make the ball smaller so that spinners can wrap their hands around it. How appreciative the manufacturers would be of that, though, I’m not sure.
Because she owns The Female Cricket Store, Greenway has her finger on the pulse of this issue. If only it had been a choice when I was playing. I realise that I could have produced greater hand speed and had better control now that I’ve seen a lot more of these lighter bats. Between February 2003 and March 2016, she participated in 225 games across all forms, including 14 Tests. In 2009, she was a member of England’s ODI and T20I teams that won the global championship. She experienced significant transformation as someone who began playing serious games in the 1990s and crossed the threshold for the final time in September 2016.
“Females playing the game today are very different from, say, 20 years ago. Then, if a girl was playing cricket, they would have been introduced to the game possibly by a male relative. You never really questioned the tools that were provided to you. You simply accepted it as is and continued on your way. Neither did we know that we didn’t have an option. Perhaps we ought to have a choice.
“Right now, we’re seeing a lot of different girls enter the game in various ways. The male relative is still present, but more and more females are getting active at school or declaring, “Right, I want to play now,” after spotting someone on television who resembles them.
“Those female groups want something to which they can relate, something which they feel is appropriate for them, something which is genuinely particular to them.”
Making girls and women feel included in a sport that some men and some women have a tendency to believe was created for boys and men is the purpose behind this movement. Women and Girls’ Cricket: How We Can Grow The Game Together, a book by Greenway, published in January, deals with the reality that, in part, “Potential entry obstacles for women are likely to be greater than those for men. Hopefully, the equipment problem may be quickly resolved by removing the barrier that it presents. Having equipment specifically designed for women and girls would make them feel lot more at home.”
Cricket still has a ways to go before itthe degrees of gender parity attained in athletics, golf, or tennis. However, there has been progress, and for now, that is what counts. The fact that marketers are finally acknowledging this need is fantastic, in my opinion, said Greenway.