Equipment

As you've probably noticed, there are some noteworthy differences between cricket and baseball equipment even though the basic things used in each game are the same. There are still balls, bats, pads, helmets and gloves, but the uses of all of these things differ between the two sports. And of course that's not to mention the wicket.

Watch a demonstration of the equipment needed to play cricket.

Batting

Stock photo

Cricket equipment.

Ball

A cricket ball is about the same size as a baseball, and both are made with a cork center and leather exterior. However, a cricket ball is harder and heavier than a baseball. A cricket ball is also typically red, though since October 2011, the ODI format uses white balls. Because a cricket ball needs to bounce, recreational cricket is often played with a tennis ball when a cricket ball (or a hard pitch) isn't available.

Bat

The difference between a cricket bat and a baseball bat is easily visible. A baseball bat is thin and rounded while a cricket bat is thicker and flat-faced. This means while any side of a baseball bat can be used to hit the ball — because they're all the same — only one side of a cricket bat is good to hit with. Baseball bats are also longer, reaching 42 inches, than cricket bats, with a maximum length of 38 inches. Cricket bats are traditionally made from willow wood while baseball bats are made from ash or maple.

Gloves

Perhaps the hardest thing to grasp about cricket equipment is that no one but the wicketkeeper and the batsmen wear gloves. Fielders catch the ball with their bare hands. Cricket gloves are also designed more to protect the hand than to help catch the ball. The gloves have padded fingers and are more akin to hockey gloves than baseball gloves.

Batsman

AP Photo

Australia's Brad Haddin is wearing the leg pads, arm pad, helmet and gloves typical for a cricket batsman.

Pads

Another difference that's easy to spot is the pads. In baseball, the catcher is usually the only player wearing pads. The batter and runners wear helmets and batting gloves, sometimes accompanied by shin guards. In cricket, the situation is quite different. Batsmen wear helmets with faceguards or grills (though batsmen are not always required to wear helmets) and leg pads that cover the front of the legs from ankle to mid-thigh. Arm pads are also fairly common.

There is a very valid reason for cricket batsmen's extra pads: It's perfectly legal in cricket to bowl at a batsman's body. (See the LBW rule, defined or as a wicket.) A batsman can also score extras known as leg byes if the ball hits his body rather than bat and he is able to get runs from the deflection. Thus, while a baseball player would get a walk for being hit by a pitch, a cricket batsman hit by a delivery can be ruled, score runs or be wholly unaffected.

Besides the batsman, a wicketkeeper, like his counterpart the baseball catcher, also often wears pads and a helmet as he is likely to be hit by the delivery.

About this site

If you're an American looking to understand the sport cricket (sometimes called baseball's lost twin), this is the website for you. From a fellow American who was once as confused as you are, you can learn the sport's basics, terminology, relation to baseball and a brief history.

Cricket websites

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