The cricket box, sometimes tastefully called an abdominal protector, is an essential piece of protective gear! Cricket balls are hard! Made from a cork core layered with tightly wound string and encased in leather, whether they are being thrown by a fast bowler or coming off the bat, they can cause damage, especially if they hit somewhere sensitive.
So, while it might not be the most comfortable thing in the world, a cricket box is an essential piece of safety equipment. To provide adequate protection it needs to fit properly and be worn correctly, during practice as well as games.
Read on as we share with you the best cricket boxes on the market, and also guidelines for what to look for when choosing the right cricket box. We’ll also go through some basics, such as when and how to use your abdominal guard.
Best Cricket Boxes
Shock Doctor 201 Bio-Flex Cup
This market-leading guard from the Shock Doctor range is designed to be comfortable and breathable – nothing worse than getting sweaty down there. It has strategically shaped ventilation holes that keep you cool without undermining protection.
The padded area around the outside of the box is a gel perimeter pad, which means that it should feel comfortable against the skin and shouldn’t bruise when absorbing a shock.
Available in seven sizes for men and boys, it is considered safe for impacts up to 100 miles per hour.
- Affordable <£10
- Safe to up to 100 miles per hour
- Gel perimeter padding
- Seven sizes for men and boys
Shock Doctor 213 Core Supporter with Bio-Flex Cup
If you are worried about how to secure your pad, you can get the Shock Doctor premium pad with integrated jockstrap for less than £20.
In addition to the cup itself, you get a comfortable jockstrap with a vented panel for positioning the cup in just the right place. Made from a cotton/poly anti-microbial fabric, this piece of kit is long-lasting.
The pad and strap are available in seven different sizes for men and boys.
- Moderate <£20
- Cup and jockstrap
- Safe for up 10 100 miles per hour
- Ventilated cup and mesh holder
- Seven sizes for men and boys
Meister Carbon Flex Groin Protector
While this box was initially designed to provide protection in the MMA ring, it has become popular in cricketing circles for its affordable quality.
The countered design offers a lot of mobility, and the polypropylene body gives durable protection. The rubber edges around the cup give it extra sticking power and prevent chafing.
The cup only comes in one size for adults, but anyone who has issues with their cup staying in place might want to try this one out.
- Moderate <£15
- Originally designed for MMA
- Offers greater mobility
- Polypropylene body
- One size
Opttiuuq Jaduu Womens Abdo Box
Despite being an essential piece of kit, women’s abdominal guards are not as easy to find as we might imagine. This is why we are grateful for this quality option for women.
It is made from strong polyurethane with padded edges and has a flatter design that women will find significantly more comfortable and flattering.
Sadly, it is currently only available in one size.
- Affordable <£10
- Women’s abdominal guard
- Polyurethane plastic
- Comfortable and flattering
- One size
Gray-Nicolls New Official Standard Abdo Guard
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for the perfect cup, and you just want something that you know will work, then this standard cricketing cup for Gray-Nicolls is a safe bet.
It is ergonomically shaped and made from strong practice that can protect against impacts up to 100 miles per hour. There are no bells and whistles, but it does what it is designed to do.
Choose from four different sizes for small boys, boys, youths, and adults.
- Affordable <£5
- Safe up to 100 miles per hour
- Hardened plastic
- Simple design
- Available in four sizes
Kookaburra 500 Abdominal Guard
If you are looking for something suitable for kids you will want something affordable for growing bodies, lightweight, but which provides adequate protection in case of an accident. These junior and youth cups from Kookaburra are a good choice.
They have a moulded plastic shell with a comfortable padded exterior. They have sizes for juniors, youth, and adults and are a good choice for those who are starting out with the sport. They offer “grade 3” rated protection.
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Gunn & Moore GM Crick Abdo Guard
This traditional cricket box is made by one of the most well-respected names in cricket gear. It is made from as strong, hard, but lightweight plastic for protection, with a soft but durable lining for comfort.
Available in sizes for juniors, youths, and adults, it is a simple, strap-free design that anyone can use as preferred. It should provide good protection for impacts up to 90 miles per hour.
- Affordable <£10
- Safe for up to 90 miles per hour
- Simple design that is easy to use
- Hardened plastic with soft lining
- Junior, youth, and adult sizes
Cricket Box Buying Guide
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A cricket box, or abdominal guard, is essentially a strong piece of plastic that is shaped like a cup (hence the name) to protect the groin and pelvic region of the player. Considering that balls can come hurtling directly at you at 90 miles per hour, it is kind of silly to stand in the crease without one.
It is principally used by batsmen, but other players, such as the wicketkeeper, will also wear this piece of protective gear. This is true for both male and female players. Women are at as much risk of injury in this area as their male counterparts.
When looking at cricket boxes, you may think that they all look the same. So, what are the most important things to consider?
The fit of your abdominal guard is important not only to prevent injury but to let you keep your mind on the game (and not what is happening inside your trousers). There are few things more annoying than having an abdominal guard swinging around inside your trousers while you are running between the stumps.
The right fit makes all the difference here. Some cups come in one size for adults, with smaller sixes for juniors and youth. This is fine if you are the standard size but can be challenging if you aren’t. If the standard size doesn’t work for you, shop around for brands with more options.
Hand in hand with the fit is how you are going to secure the box. Some boxes will come with a special jockstrap for this specific purpose, but in most cases, you will need to shop around for a jockstrap or compression shorts to secure your box.
The material that your box is made from makes the biggest difference when it comes to protection. It should be made from hardened plastic such as polyurethane.
Whatever the material, for an adult you will want something that promises to withstand speeds of up to 80-100 miles per hour. While you might not have any pitchers in the league throwing the ball that fast, the ball can ricochet off the bat very quickly, and you may find yourself very close to the point of impact.
The padding around the outside of the box is part of its shock-absorbing system but also helps to keep the box where it should be while you are in motion. Something with sufficient padding and no seams in the padding is important. This matters most if you choose to wear your box underneath your underwear, as those seams will irritate your skin.
If you find that your box won’t stay in place no matter what you do, consider switching to a box designed for MMA. This sport requires a greater range of motion, so their boxes tend to have been designed to stay in place better.
While many of the additional features that come with boxes are just unnecessary bells and whistles, ventilation is not one of them. Without proper ventilation, it can become very hot and uncomfortable down there. Always choose something with strategically placed ventilation windows.
How To Wear A Cricket Box?
Choose Your Underwear
Wearing a cricket guard correctly actually starts with your choice of underwear, as this is the principal thing that is going to keep your guard in place. Ideally, you will want a fairly tight pair of underwear that holds the guard firmly but comfortably in place.
You can wear the box on the outside of your underwear, but then you will need something like a jockstrap. Though most professional athletes – in any sport that needs abdominal protection – will wear compression pants over their underwear that have a special compartment for slotting in your box.
Position the box with the narrow part pointing downwards, and then position it to cover your genital area completely, but comfortably.
Once you have covered your box with your trousers, simulate the movements that you are likely to make during the match to ensure that the box stays comfortably where it should. If not, you have some readjusting to do.
Who should wear a cricket box?
In most cricket leagues, batsmen and wicketkeepers are required to wear an abdominal guard as a piece of essential safety equipment. Sometimes fielders who are playing close to the batsmen, such as at silly point, short leg, and silly mid-off, will also wear a box to protect them against balls flying off the bat.
When did people start using cricket boxes?
Protective gear in general first started to be used on the cricket pitch in the 1830s when overarm bowling became popular, and the ball started arriving at the batsmen at faster and faster speeds. We don’t know exactly when the first box was worn, but it was probably one of the first pieces of safety equipment worn.
Do female cricketers wear abdominal guards?
Women also need to use abdominal guards, specially designed for them. While that area might be less sensitive to injury than for men, a ball hitting at high speed can still do significant damage. Female guards are flatter but have a similar design.
The cricket box is an essential piece of safety equipment, and something you will want for yourself. While you might be happy to wear a colleague’s batting pads, sharing boxes is generally considered taboo.
For men, good boxes are neither difficult to find nor expensive, the most important thing is to find something that fits and stays in place while you are in motion.
Women have a harder time of it, even though they also need abdominal support when in the batting crease or protecting the wickets.
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API