Safety Guide

Playing cricket year round at very competitive level brings with it risks of injuries. The varying ground and weather conditions also add to those risks. Injuries, treatment, recovery, rehab are not fun. Besides costing a bunch of money, it is painful (literally and figuratively).

Having seen many (and experienced some) injuries over the years, it occured to us that it is important to remind the players in the league about the need for some preventative safeguards. Towards that end, this is an effort to put together a safety guide that will hopefully help players prevent injuries and enjoy the game. 

Disclaimer

This document just acts as a helper guide listing all the suggested protection that players can employ to prevent injuries from happening during games. By no means does this document aim to be a comprehensive injury-prevention handbook or make claims to that effect. Besides using some of the suggestions below, each player is expected to exercise their own dilligence or seek out recommendations of their personal medical doctor/coach to protect themselves

Batting Gloves

With uneven bounce in some grounds and even in a matting wicket it is entirely conceivable that you misjudge the bounce of the ball and get hit on your knuckles/fingers. Depending on how/where the ball hits your hand, there is possibility of an injury occuring. Finger injuries can be painful and pesky, in that they persist for a long time and prevent you from holding the bat, catching or even playing all together. Batting gloves provide a layer of security from any injuries so caused. So invest in a batting gloves if you can personally or as a team buy a few. You can use golf/baseball batting gloves for better grip but they would not provide the same protection cricket batting gloves provide.

Abdomen Guards (Cups)

This one needs very little explanation. But it might be surprising that large majority of the players don't protect themselves with an abdomen guard. Getting hit there is going to be an Ouch!!. If it is not painful enough, you will find your teammates, fielders gigling at your expense. If uneven bounce is riskier for knuckles/fingers it definitely much more riskier for the groin area. Don't risk it.

Shin Guards

Most of you might not care for the shinguards. But if you are wicket keeper you might find shin guards handy when the ball keeps low and rather than it slam into your shin you can have shin guards protect you.
For batters that hit themselves on the ankle while trying to play the flick shot or digging out yorkers, the shin guards with ankle protector might be a useful protective cover, much like soccer players protecting their ankles to avoid being kicked at by another player.

Keeping Helmets

If you are keeper, fancing keeping up to the wicket, then it is an imperative to have helmet to protect your face/eye for ball richoceting of the bat or the stumps onto your face. You might also want to have a protective glass inside to protect bails from flying off the stumps into your eyes (Mark Boucher anyone?)

Batting Helmets

As a batter, given the uncertain bounce and the adventurous shots players attempt these days, more and more people have started wearing helmets for protection now. Not to scare you or anything, but we have had one of our players hurt himself in his eye while batting by the ball richoceting of the bat. 

Protective Glasses/Sun Glasses

 
Most of the grounds have sun coming into the eye of either the batsman or the fielder. So having a sunglass is definitely a need while being on the ground. Playing in sun through the year (and some of you playing 2-3 games a weekend)and exposing the eyeto all that UV rays is not adviseable. A good sunglass can add a layer of protection for the eyes.

Taping Fingers

If you have weaker finger joints and/or are prone to finger injuries, you might want to try taping your fingers, typically ring finger and pinky together (as they are the weak ones) to help you prevent any dislocations. Finger disclosation is painful and while you can act brave by playing through pain, remember the pain can last a while. Not addressing a finger disclosation can leave you with lot of crooked fingers.
NOTE: You cannot wear these finger tapes while bowling

Good Shoes

Considering that you spend practically all the time on the field running, stretching, reaching, bowling you ask your legs to do a lot. So it is only fair that you support your leg with a proper shoes. For us weekend warriors, not having a proper shoes has been known to cause Achiles issues, ankle injuries and much more. So don't skimp when it comes to buying a shoes. Invest in a good running shoes with proper insole to support your arch, cushion your heels and give the necessary stability to your ankles.

Stretching & Warmup

This is one of the things that players disregard routinely. In the younger days, the body is flexible so you can practically get off your bed, head to the ground and play. No warm up, stretching is needed. But as you play more, body seeks some kinda of heads-up on what you are going to put the body through for the next 3+ hours. So it is smart for you to set aside 10 minutes prior to the game for stretching and warmup. Here are some suggestions
  • a couple of rounds of jog around the field
  • stretching the achiles
  • stretching the quads/hamstrings
  • loosening the shoulder joints and rotator cuff
  • making sure your calves.

While not guaranteeing 100% protection all these tips/suggestion are meant to assist you prevent a injury-enforced break in playing the game

First Aid Kit

While things mentioned above help in preventing some of the injuries that could happen on the field, if unfortunately someone does injured, it is important to have a first-aid kit to help with some immediate attention if the injury is minor.  

A good first-aid kit typically (not a comprehensive list) has the following items

  • A pain-relieving spray
  • Adhesive bandages, cloth tape
  • Some cleanser for wounds
  • Absorbent compress dressings
  • Antiseptic wipe packets
  • Sterile gauze pads

NOTE: Please resist any tempation of giving painkillers medicine to the injured player not knowing their medical history or any exististing medical conditions

Insurance

The most important thing to ensure across all the team members is that they have some type insurance coverage should there be a need to take them to the hospital to get the necessary attention. Besides looking for their batting, bowling and fielding skills, as team leaders, please gently remind people in your team from time to time about the importance of insurance coverage, when possible.