Kitbag Essentials – A Guide to Sorting Out Your Kit
It’s not only the shambolic mess, it’s the festering stench. These are the words my partner greets me with as I open my kitbag for the first time since March.
Like most cricketers, my kitbag has been left to its own devices for the past 6 months. After another season in which the runs, wickets and premierships I had convinced myself would come my way failed to materialise, my kitbag was condemned to the boot of my car. There the bag would rest, hibernating through winter until the bombard of emails from my clubs MyCricket account would prove too much and I would resign myself to another summer of cricket. The best months of the year to be spent travelling throughout suburban Melbourne to hit, throw and catch a ball, offer stinging critiques of the oppositions afternoon tea choices and racking up a bar tab large enough to rival the GDP of some small nations.
‘Why is it such a mess?’ and ‘where on Earth is that smell coming from?’ are the questions my partner poses to me as my kitbag sits proudly on the living room floor. Firstly, the bag and its contents are messy is because I was dismissed cheaply and had three catches dropped off of my bowling during the last game of the prior season. Suffice to say, trying to emulate Marie Kondo whilst packing my gear away was not front of mind. Secondly, the rather unique/repulsive odour is from the sweat laden whites, socks that have been left to ferment for six months, along with the towel which now has more mould than a slab of Roquefort growing on it.
And, so begins the annual ritual of cleaning the kitbag. Going through my gear, determining what requires replacement and what will serve me will during the upcoming season. This is no easy process, for example, should the thigh pad that is so old it no longer offers any protection be kept because I wore it when I made 50 in the fourths 9 years ago? It’s obviously very lucky, however my thigh is now permanently bruised – is this a reasonable trade off? To help you out, please find the Garrard & Flack Australia guide to building the complete kit!
Two styles dominate – the duffle and the wheelie. In simple terms, a duffle is essential a massive school bag, whereas the wheelie bag as the name suggests, is a bag with wheels which you drag behind you as you walk.
As with most things, personal preference will dictate your choice of bag style. The Garrard & Flack Pro Cricket Wheelie Bag is massive and offers multiple compartments to enable your kit and match/training day essentials to be neatly organised. This bag is ideal for players with a large amount of gear (e.g. Wicket Keepers, players who use coloured one day pads, etc.).
The Garrard & Flack Maxima and Pro Maxima duffle bags are ideal for the minimalist player who doesn’t need or want the size offered by the wheelie. Both duffle bags offer ample storage and exceptional comfort. The added bonus of a duffle bag is that it forces you to carry only what you need, meaning unnecessary clutter doesn’t accumulate!
This is the stuff you will need to play. Every set of kit will differ from player to player however at a minimum, most kits will be comprised of a good bat (we recommend a Series 1, 2.20 or 2.3.2!), at least one set of batting gloves, a set of batting pads, thigh guard, protector (a box), helmet, shoes, socks (we recommend the excellent the TAPEDESIGN All Round Classic Sock), cap/wide brimmed hat and playing whites (or colours for white-ball comps). For the wicket keepers, you’ll also need keeping gloves, inners and pads.
Beyond this, you may wish to consider an inner thigh guard, arm guard and abdominal/rib guard
If it’s one thing cricketers love, it's accessories. Some essential, some not, there are endless cricket related products on the market vying for your attention.
Essential items to consider are bat grips, bat grip cone, bat mallet, fibreglass and electrical tape are all great for bat preparation and on the run repairs. In the colder months you will definitely want to consider a playing vest or jumper and in the bright days of summer, a suitable pair of sunglasses are a must. A spare set of spikes and spike spanner are vital for players of turf cricket. Aside from cricket specific items, hand sanitiser and good quality sunscreen are a must (coming soon to our website!) and packet of chewing gum and some lollies are never left unwanted (we prefer the Juicy Fruit and Allens mixed party bag combination).
Fielding gloves, baseball mitts, throwing aids, technique bats are all items which will help enhance your training (and hopefully match day performance) however most equipment required for training will generally be available at your club.
As you can see, the humble cricket kit bag is a complex beast, comprised of many parts. For the uninitiated, browsing our website or the websites of other cricket retailers can be daunting given the sheer volume of products on the market combined with the cost associated with purchasing a complete kit. The team here at Garrard & Flack Australia are committed to supporting all cricketers and providing access to the finest quality handcrafted cricket bats, protective equipment and luggage. So we hope this guide helps you organise/build the complete kit! - see you at the crease!