What do cricketers wear on their fingers

Cricket is a sport that requires players to wear protective gear, including gloves and pads. While the cricket glove is designed to protect the hand from injury, it also has an important role in helping a player to grip the bat.

The batting grip is different from the bowling grip, so each type of glove has different characteristics that are suited for each purpose.

Right here on Buy and slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on how to protect fingers while playing cricket, finger tape price, treatment for finger injury in cricket, why do cricketers tape their fingersand so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Why do cricketers tape their fingers

Injuries are part and parcel of any sport. In Cricket, finger injuries are pretty common. We often see tapes around the fingers of the fielders. Many players use it during the practice as well. So, what is the deal with these finger tapes and why do cricketers use it on their fingers?

Cricketers tape their fingers to avoid injury from the impact of the hard cricket ball. Finger tapes help to propagate the impact of the cricket ball towards the wrist instead of the fingers and thus help in reducing the chance of an injury. Players also use tape to stop an existing injury from aggravating further.

Often wondered how these finger tapes are put on the fingers? Why do players change them during a long day in the field? How do these tapes really work? Would there be any effect on my game if I use them? Let’s go through these questions and more in the following article.

Why do cricketers tape their fingers

It is very common to find the cricketers wearing tapes on their fingers while they are out on the field. Let’s find out why they tape their fingers in the following article.

1. To avoid finger injuries

Injuries play a crucial role in a cricketer’s career, and fingers are the most vulnerable and injury-prone.  Often, the fielders have to catch or stop the ball, traveling at lightning speed, with their fingers and palm. At times there could be bruises, sprains, or strains due to the impact. The leather cricket ball weighing around 160 grams, traveling at 100 mph could hurt the fingers substantially.

The tapes are usually worn on the joints of the fingers i.e the joints between Proximal Phalanges (PP) and the Middle Phalanges (MP) as shown in the image below

Anatomy of the hand (Image Credit)

If the fast-moving ball hits the tip of the fielder’s finger i.e. at Distal Phalange (DP), the part above the Proximal Phalange (PP) gets a jolt, mostly away from the palm. This can cause serious injuries to the joints between the Phalanges bones.

If the fielder’s fingers are taped, the force generated by the impact of a fast-moving ball will propagate towards the Radiocarpal joint (wrist joint – shown below), which can comfortably bear the impact load generated.

Radiocarpal joint (Image Credit)

2. To Prevent Ball from Slipping Away

There is another advantage of using finger tapes. The tapes on the fielder’s fingers offer considerable friction to stop the ball from slipping away from the hands in an attempt to catch or stop the ball

Do wicket-keepers use Finger Tape?

The wicket-keepers have to consistently deal with catching or stopping the ball as delivered by the bowlers if the batsman either misses or edges it. Some low or wide balls or some deliveries wobbling in the air could also hurt their fingers.

To prevent such injuries, the wicket-keeper binds the finger-joint with adhesive bandages (Elastoplasts), but if the keeper suffers from bruised finger-joints, such bandages are replaced by the tapes to avoid further damage.

Which type of Fielder benefits the most from the Finger Tapes?

The players who field in close-in positions are more prone to injuries, including finger injuries. These positions include slips, gully, point, short leg, silly point, short mid-on, and short mid-off. Let’s take a closer look at the overall fielding positions so that you can easily identify the close-in positions.

Fielding the ball at such close-in positions is a tough job especially in the absence of gloves. After the batsman hits the ball, the fielders get a fraction of a second to respond, and thus, at times, it becomes extremely difficult to get the hands in the correct position.  

The use of the finger tapes proves to be very beneficial in such situations and can prevent major injuries to the fielder’s fingers.

How to Tape your Fingers Properly?

You want to wear finger tapes but don’t know how to proceed or not sure if the way you tape your fingers is right? Don’t worry. This section will address all your concerns. Firstly, it’s possible to tape your fingers on your own, however, it will be more convenient to have someone else do it for you.

Things you need to Tape your Fingers

Be ready with the following items before you start taping.

  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
  • Soft paddings such as foam, gauze, or cotton
  • Medical cloth or zinc oxide tape
  • Scissors

Steps to Tape your Fingers

Follow the steps mentioned below to tape your finger.

  • Cut a few pieces of the finger tape and have them ready before you start the taping process.
  • If you have cracks in the skin, clean the affected area using antiseptic wipes and dry the skin completely.
  • Starting at the base, wrap the tape around the fingers. Wrap at least two to three times while applying gentle pressure as you wrap the tape.
  • Be careful, don’t make it too tight. Make sure that you still have good blood circulation in the fingers. This can be verified by pressing the tips of your finger for a few seconds and then releasing it to see if they fill back up with blood. If it does, you are good to go.

It is very important to observe the fingers after taping. You need to watch out for the signs of infection or irritation. If you ever feel any pain or numbness in the fingers, then just remove the tape and redo the process.

Treatment for finger injury in cricket

Mallet Finger

Mallet finger is a common injury in cricket caused by the ball hitting the tip of the finger. The end of the finger is violently bent by the impact, resulting in a rupture of the tendon that straightens the end joint (known as the distal joint).

In addition to the symptoms of pain and swelling of the affected joint, when a mallet finger injury occurs the tip of the finger will remain in a downward bent position – i.e. it will ‘droop’ – and it won’t be possible to straighten it.

Treatment for a Mallet Finger Injury

It is not recommended that a mallet finger injury is treated at home, so (as with all of the types of finger injuries outlined in this post) it’s always necessary to seek medical attention. Delaying a visit to a doctor for any of these injuries could make the treatment more difficult and may lead to delayed recovery or permanent stiffness and loss of mobility in the injured finger joint.

Treatment for a mallet finger injury will usually involve the splinting the finger in a straight position for up to two months using a specially designed mallet finger splint. Keeping the finger in this position allows the tendon to reattach to the bone. Once the splint is removed the treatment will focus on exercises and therapy to straighten the finger and improve mobility.

Finger Joint Dislocation

It’s relatively common for cricketers to sustain a dislocated finger and this type of injury normally happens as a result of the cricket ball striking the end of the finger. A joint dislocation is when a bone in the finger is moved (dislocated) from its socket causing damage to the tissue around the joint.

It’s usually obvious when a finger has been dislocated as it won’t be in a normal anatomical position: it may be bent at a strange angle or deformed. Common symptoms are intense pain, swelling and a loss of function in the finger. In severe cases symptoms may include tingling or numbness, or a break in the skin where the dislocation has occurred. In these cases the injured person should visit an emergency department as soon as possible.

Treatment of Finger Joint Dislocation

The swelling can be reduced immediately using an ice pack and by raising the injured hand above the level of the heart. It’s important to seek medical attention for a full diagnosis and correct treatment of this injury.

The doctor will need to correct the position of the finger be realigning the dislocated bones. The PRICE protocol should be followed for the first few days after the injury. A splint, or buddy taping, will be used to support and protect the injured finger for 3-6 weeks. To help to reduce the chance of decreased mobility in the finger it’s important to carry out any exercises recommended by the doctor or physiotherapist.

Finger Sprain (Volar Plate Injury)

The most common cause of finger sprains in cricket is when the finger is forced to hyperextend (i.e. bend back) while catching the ball. The middle joint of the finger (known as the PIP joint) is most frequently sprained and this occurs when the volar plate ligament that keeps the joint in a normal stable position is damaged by the force of hyper-extension. This type of injury may also include an avulsion fracture (where a fragment of bone is torn off at the ligament when the injury occurs.)

The symptoms of a sprain are pain and stiffness in the finger joint with a degree of swelling and in some cases bruising. The amount of swelling is usually an indication of how severe the injury is.

Treatment for Finger Sprains

To treat this type of injury immediately follow the PRICE protocol. As soon as possible the injury should be assessed by a doctor who will decide on the appropriate course of treatment.

Cold therapy using finger cold packs and compressive bandaging using cohesive bandage can help to reduce the swelling and pain. The joint may be rested and supported using a splint in the initial phase of recovery, however, with this type of sprain it’s important to move the joint quickly after the period of immobilisation. Specific exercises for keeping the joint flexible will normally be recommended as part of the course of treatment. Buddy taping may also be recommended by the physiotherapist/doctor as it is a good way of protecting the finger while allowing a normal range of movement.

Can you Play Cricket with a Broken Finger?

Although is it not advisable, some cricketers in the past have played with broken fingers. David Warner (Australia) played with the broken thumb in 2013. Haseeb Hameed (England) batted in 2016 with a very badly broken little finger. Most memorable is Graeme Smith (South Africa) playing in 2010 with a broken finger in a failed but valiant attempt to save the Test.

Though the injured batsman takes some pain-killer injection before the play, and the fractured finger is strapped securely, it takes a lot of courage and determination to play with a broken finger. Make sure you have a valid reason to do that.

How to protect fingers while playing cricket

Tip 1 – Improve the wicketkeeping and fielding techniques

While wicketkeeping, or fielding in general, the finger injury or any sort of injuries cannot be completely avoided. However, you can prevent such injuries, in terms of frequency and the intensity, by working on the fielding techniques. If you are going to use finger tape in the match, it is advisable to get accustomed to them during practice fielding drills.

Tip 2 – Work on batting technique

Uneven bounce in the pitch can at times hurt the fingers of a batsman. Batsmen must practice riding the bounce properly in the nets against the fast bowlers. Playing with soft hands and watching the ball till the last moment help as well. The use of well-cushined batting gloves is highly recommended.

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