Cover Your Wickets – Leg Pad Patents
This post was first published on 12th March 2011.
Cricket is a popular sport played across the world. After India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the sport has gained so much of popularity in India that today every kid wants to be a cricketer. But cricketer are always prone to injuries. And these injuries can be fatal enough to ruin a flourishing career of a cricketer. There are some instances which shows that cricket can be a dangerous game if proper protective equipment is not used. One of the most sad and perturbing moments in cricket was when Raman Lamba died after being hit on his head by a ball while fielding at short leg. Therefore, to play professional cricket, players need to have lots of protective equipment like gloves, helmets thigh pads, arm pads, abdominal guard, batting pads, etc while playing a match. Among all the protective guards’ leg-pads according to me are the most important.
Cricket as a game started way back in 16th century. Initially, no protective equipment was used. As the cricket ball is very hard, players in early days used to keep their feet away from the line of ball and wickets. People believe that players started using leg pads from 19th century. Initially, leg pads were made of foam, cotton and cane wood strips which resulted in heavy pads. As batsmen wore pads, they started covering their stumps with their legs in order to avoid being getting bowled. This was the moment went LBW rule was introduced.
Innovation and creativity has brought about changes in the leg pads as well. With the passage of time, different types of pads came up to ensure maximum flexibility with minimum threat of injury to batsman. Nowadays, pads are made with strong, durable, ultra light synthetic materials and alleviate fatigue. Different aspects like strength and weight of material, aerodynamics of design and so on are considered while manufacturing pads.
A patent (GB190505105A) titled “Improvements in Leg Guards for Cricket” regarding leg-pad was granted to Leonard Charles Bkatjwd in 1905. Leonard had a protection flaps attached to leg guards to protect the inside of the right leg and outside of the left leg to protect the tibia bone, and the femur and fibula bones.
Another patent (GB2073009A) titled “Improvements in or relating to leg guards” was granted to Thomas Matthew Caveney and Andrew John Bates in 1981. These pads comprise of 2 layers with outer layer made of plastic material which provides resistant against impact and inner layer provides a resilient padding for the leg of the player. The outer and inner layers can be a noncellular polyethylene or polypropylene and a cellular polyethylene or polypropylenes respectively in the form of a laminate. The pad has upper and lower portions adapted for hinge-like movement in the knee zone of the pad. These pads protect the ankles shins, knees or other parts of the legs of the player.
Players use different types of pads suited to their batting style. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar used Ultralite batting pads, which according to him are very comfortable, very light and padded with anti-bounce foam, incredible for footwork and running. Brendon McCullum uses ballistic batting pads which features an internal fibre tech shield and a moulded kneecap, which according to Brendon offer freedom of movement with minimal restriction. Batting pads allow players to play and enjoy the game with least risk by providing required protection and comfort. So choose the right quality of protective pads and enjoy the game.
Authored by Sanjiv Sharan
Image Source here