You may feel be in good nick in the indoor nets but are you sure you’re fully prepared for all that the 2015 cricket season is going to throw at you? Maybe you are. Maybe you’re Mr Organised. But judging by a lot of cricket bags we all have the displeasure of seeing and smelling every summer’s weekend, organisation may not be your strong point. This cricket season buyers’ guide lends itself as a handy checklist to ensure you are as prepared as you possibly can be when you face your first delivery or bowl your first ball of the season. You don’t have to read on, but if you don’t, you’re in danger of forgetting an essential preseason purchase.
Don’t tell me your cricket whites have been festering away at the bottom of your cricket bag all winter – you wouldn’t be the first player to allow that to happen. If you’re a youngster, you may have outgrown your cricket clothing over the winter months. Check now, or later today – don’t wait any longer. You don’t want to discover that your trousers are too short the day before your first cricket match of the season. You’ll also be highly dependent on your cricket jumper for the first month or so. Make sure all of your cricket kit is accounted for before it’s too late to purchase any new items prior to the big kick-off, or bat-off – whatever you want to call it.
Check that your core batting gear is still in good shape and is likely to get you through a long season. In an ideal world, it’s better to use the same pair throughout the campaign. If you’re in good form, you won’t want to change anything, including your gear. Obviously you don’t want to be wasteful – you may feel that your old pair of gloves are still adequate for net practice – but if your batting pads or gloves are on their way out, it’s best to start getting use to an upgraded pair before the season starts. Do your batting gloves still have sufficient grip or has the palm begun to perish? Is the upper part of your inner pads torn and the padding no longer secure?
Now this is a big one. Your blade of glory should be your pride and joy. It does not define who you are as a cricketer, but it can certainly give you a big push in the right direction. A cricket bat becomes an extension of the cricketer. We get use to holding, lifting and swinging that piece of willow in a certain way. More than anything, you get use to the weight and pick-up. If your cricket bat reaches its demise during the season, it can be a real pain to replace it mid-season if you do not have an adequate back-up. Cricket bats take time to knock-in and condition for match-play, so every serious cricketer should have a suitable replacement cricket bat up their sleeve and in their bag at all times – you may have to replace a broken bat while you’re in the middle of a match-defining knock.
If you’re looking to purchase a new cricket bat for 2015, you could argue that you should have purchased it already, so that you had the chance to become accustomed to your new loved one during winter nets. But, don’t worry, it’s not too late to get it fully match-fit before the cricket season commences. If you play league cricket, you’ll probably have at least two pre-season games to blow away the cobwebs before the proper stuff commences – ample time to try out your new blade. Also, another thing to note, if you are interested in buying a custom made cricket bat for 2015, then the wait time on these will be at least a fortnight – it’s a peak time to buy a cricket bat, after all.
THE LITTLE THINGS
It’s easy to forget the little things, but you can guarantee that you’ll forget something on the first day of the season – well, at least your mates will if they haven’t read this article. Take sports sunglasses, for instance. Look out the window for a split second. The chances are it’s probably a bit overcast out there. That’s England for you. But there could be blissful sunshine on the first day of the season and you’ll be needing those “sunnies”. No harm in being optimistic, in any case. To further fuel the optimism, how about sun cream and the sunblock lip-balm that has become the iconic look for the serious cricketer?
I’m going to fire some more accessories at you now, so start ticking them off … ready? New bat grip, bat tape, grip tape (see GripGrip), cricket socks, cricket cap, base layer, spikes for your cricket shoes, towel, toiletries bag, Deep Heat, plasters, ample supply of energy drinks. Got them all? Wow, you really are efficient. But if you’re a skipper or team VIP, you can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet: scorebook, pens, cricket balls, boundary flags, ball counters, fielding circle discs, stumps, bails. Can you think of anything else?
POSITIVITY AND A SMILE
The last thing, and probably the most important, is: make sure you enter the season in a positive fashion. Be ambitious. Enjoy the game and enjoy the company of your team-mates. The English winter is a long, hard slog, so we need to make the most of the season. Best of luck in your 2015 campaign. If you need to replace any of your cricket gear, please bear Cricket Direct in mind – we’d be delighted to serve you.