Cricket is a sport not short on legendary tales, and one of my favourites regards the New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin. Martin is generally regarded as one of the worst batsman ever to play Test cricket, with an average of just 2.36. Apparently the reason why he was so poor was that as a junior he used to cycle to his training sessions. He was able to carry his bowling shoes, and so developed in that discipline, but could not carry a bat, pads, gloves and a helmet. Therefore he rarely practiced his batting during those key formative years. Whether this story does explain his poor record is debatable, but it does highlight the importance of a cricket bag!
Whilst you can use a standard kit bag perhaps designed for football or rugby to carry your cricket kit, those designed specifically for cricket will be a more convenient option. Cricket bags will generally feature an integrated bat pocket. This will provide quick and easy access to your bat, but more importantly stops the bat eating into the space available for the rest of your kit. A separate compartment for your cricket shoes can be useful to help keep the rest of your kit clean, whilst a small pocket for your valuables is again something to look for.
Any cricket bag needs to be large enough to carry a fairly long list of kit. Your bat, cricket shoes, pads, gloves, helmet, box and clothes will all be essential items for most cricketers, some of which will take up quite a lot of space. If you’re buying a specialist cricket bag suitable for your age, you should have enough space for all of the essentials. Some cricket bags are larger than others however. Whether you need the extra space will depend on whether you want to carry other items with you, such as different shoes for bowling and batting or space for a spare bat. It is always more convenient to have extra space available, but larger bags will be less portable.
There are two main options in terms of portability. Some cricket bags will have wheels and an extendable handle, allowing you to transport the bag like a suitcase. For many cricketers, this will be the most convenient option whether you are travelling on foot, public transport or by car. However, if like Chris Martin you will rely on a bike to get you to training or a match, or perhaps you will be walking a long distance, cricket bags are also available in designs which allow you to carry the bag like a backpack. This design is less efficient in terms of how the space is used, but at least will accommodate a cricket bat comfortably unlike many standard backpacks.
The most important factor when choosing a cricket bag is to ensure that all of your kit will fit inside and everything is easily accessible. Most specialist bags should offer this, but beyond that you can choose between the options available depending on how much extra space you need, and whether you prefer a suitcase-type design or a backpack-type design.
The Kipsta team sports range is available exclusively at Decathlon.