But other sports have their dangers too, although no-one would have predicted the unfortunate and tragic injury that led to the death of 13-year-old Matthew Prior during a primary school cricket match.
Safety precautions for young cricketers
While you can’t predict every unexpected injury, all you can do is keep to the safety rules to do the best you can to protect your child. Here is some basic safety advice from Ryan Maron, who runs holiday clinics for young cricketers around the country. The advice is intended for parents of cricketers age 4 to 18.
- Make sure your child always wears an abdominal protector (ball box) at all times when batting, wicket keeping, and fielding close to the batsman.
- Keep players hydrated by giving water or energy drinks throughout the day when playing sport.
- When practising in the nets or middle pitch, advise children to always keep their eye on the action: ‘NEVER turn your back on the action!’
- Players should always wear a helmet when practising in the nets and middle, even to slow bowlers. Batsmen should wear padding, which may include a chest protector.
- If your child gets hit it in the testicle or penis area it is advisable to see a doctor for a check up to make sure all is in order.
- When playing cricket at break, make sure players use a soft ball as many children will be in the vicinity.
- Coaches must make sure cricketers of the same standard or age need to be kept in the same group when practising.
- Players should always wear sun block and a cap or floppy hat when practising.
- If a ball goes up for a catch, a player must make sure to call for the ball to avoid any collision with a team mate.