The role of the goalkeeper is quite demanding on the physical form and technique of the individual. A game over 50 can seem like an eternity on the pitch if you are below the physical level and therefore the work also takes a toll on the player mentally. As the center of the fielding team’s effort, if the goalie is having a nightmare game, the whole team will pay the penalty. Simply put, there is no hiding place for poor maintenance performance.

To make life easier for the goalkeeper, in addition to working on form and technique, you should choose a really comfortable pair of protectors and gloves. This might be a no-brainer, but given the length and sheer number of sacks that go into a long inning, it makes sense to pick the best gloves you can afford. The highest standard of protection and comfort will ensure that the job is less demanding and good quality gloves make catching the ball a more satisfying experience.

Wicket keeping gloves are now available in a wide range of options and price points. As a basic rule of thumb, there are two main areas to consider when choosing gloves for keeping wicket. The first is the quality of the leather on the back of the glove. The softest, most supple leather will be in higher-end gloves and this makes a real difference in comfort and feel. You want the gloves to become an extension of your hands and not end up feeling like you have a pair of cymbals strapped together! That being said, the cheapest end on the market is perfect for the occasional goalkeeper or club kit bag.

Palm design and material is the second important area to consider when shopping for new wicket-keeping gloves. A variety of palms are offered, but the best ones usually offer something more than the standard rubber with an Octopus, Hypertac, or Hextech palm, allowing for extra wear and, more importantly, extra grip.

Without forgetting, of course, that a suitable pair of inner gloves is equally important when looking for hand protection items. The gloves’ padded inner palms can add comfort to repetitive shots when tackling the stumps of medium-pace bowlers or break you out of jail when landing those awkward half-volleys from outfielders. Inner gloves come in a variety of options, typically cotton-padded, half suede, and full suede leather, but, as with your main gloves, go for the best quality you can afford.

Wicket-keeping pads are a must, but to be fair, a self-respecting wicket-keeper shouldn’t be using their pads to stop the ball. Therefore, leg protectors are only used to prevent accidental blows to the knees or shins. However, today they are incredibly light due to the modern materials used in their manufacture and should last for years.

Face and head protection is mandatory for young people serving bail in the UK. Even an adult goalie standing up to their stumps will have more confidence receiving the ball under their eyes when wearing a helmet. Most equipment manufacturers have the option of lightweight tops that can also be used for batting. For the more serious cricketer, replacing a steel grill with a titanium version saves even more weight.

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