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Why cricketers must think outside the box


Instinctively, the most important piece of equipment in a game of cricket is the bat or the ball.

Wrong. At least in the men’s game.

It’s that which guards the crown jewels, the box. Or abdominal protector if you’re feeling delicate with both language and anatomy.

Considering a cricketer’s undercarriage is protected by a thin layer of plastic and padding, the box grants a cricketer an unusual degree of confidence; it’s all that stands in the way of Tom, Harry and a hard-as-rock leather ball travelling north of 140kmh.

Leading urologists believe that faith in the box might be leading cricketers into a false sense of security and potentially suffering a serious testicular trauma.

A recent meeting of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand was told of what happened when six boxes which were tested. Four broke on first impact, one broke on second impact, and another didn’t break but was significantly damaged.

“Our suspicions were piqued when a lot of our fellow urologists have seen some significant injuries to the scrotum and, in particular, to the testicle,” Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk told Cam Reddin on Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Over the years a lot of us have actually had to remove testicles that have been so badly damaged in cricket.”

Professor Lawrentshuck is a urologist and a researcher with the University of Melbourne and co-authored the report on the potential risks associated with cricket boxes currently on sale.

Cricket Australia will now provide a research grant where boxes will undergo a range of ballistic tests in order to improve safety and develop a standard.

“It’s hard to believe that there are standards for all sorts of things, but would you believe cricket boxes do not have a standard at present?” he said.

Most – if not all – would fully support the development of a stronger, more protective box. Make it bulletproof if you need to. Otherwise there will be more than one ball being smashed for six.

Click PLAY to hear more from Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk: