In the game of cricket, we often see many cricketers taping their fingers especially when they are fielding. Why do they do so? And, how does a tape help?
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Cricketers tape their fingers to prevent themselves from serious injury. The taped fingers help them to reduce the impact of the cricket ball to reduce the risk of injury. Meanwhile, many cricketers carry minor injuries and they tape their fingers to minimize the risk of the existing injury getting worse.
Reasons behind the cricketers taping their fingers
Fingers injury are the most common and frequently occurring injuries in the game of cricket. The fielders are not permitted to wear gloves and usually, the hard ball travels toward them at a great speed. If that ball is not met at the right place, then it is likely to cause an injury to the hand.
The tapes provide at least some sort of protection from the initial impact that is likely to cause the damage. However, it is not the only purpose of taping the fingers.
- Avoiding finger injuries: Fingers do not have the strongest joints in the human body and they have to constantly withstand the impact of the cricket ball while fielding. Wearing tapes on fingers helps the fielder to divert the energy from the impact towards the wrist to minimize the risk of an injury. Usually, the close fielders such as slip fielders wear finger tapes as they cannot wear gloves. The ball travels at speed towards them with almost no time to adjust. Meanwhile, the fielders at the boundaries have a better chance to adjust their hands to the ball.
- Providing friction to the ball: Applying tapes to the fingers gives an added advantage to the players while fielding. It provides a better grip while taking a catch and in-ground fielding. The tape to the fingers reduces the risk of the ball slipping out of the hands. Furthermore, the tape to the fingers also helps in cold weather and wet conditions. However, excessive tape to the fingers could be questioned by the opposition. In such a case, the umpires may ask the player to remove the tapes. While taping the finger is permissible, it should not exceed to gain an unfair advantage.
Why do wicketkeepers tape their fingers?
Wicketkeepers have to gather the ball behind the stumps at the raw pace. Furthermore, they have to do it consistently and it is a difficult job. There is definitely some protection for the wicketkeepers as they wear gloves and these gloves certainly help them to grab the ball cleanly.
These gloves are specially designed with a web between the forefinger and the thumb. These gloves also provided added security to the fingers with rubber protection to prevent fingers from jamming into the ground. Meanwhile, the wicketkeepers wear the tapes for the same reason as the fielders did. They wear the tapes to reduce the impact to avoid injuries.
Which tape do cricketers use?
Cricketers use sports and athletic tapes but there is not any cricket-specific tape. There are some sports like combat sports and rock climbing in which the athletes use game-specific tapes. Those tapes are designed especially for the given sports.
However, if talk about cricket, the cricketers mostly use the generic bandage wrap. It is breathable and flexible to help during long fielding sessions. If we talk about the colour, the cricketers mostly use beige-coloured tapes to avoid extra attention from the opposition and the umpires.
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How to properly tape your fingers in cricket?
If a fielder wants to tape only a couple of fingers of his one hand, then he can do it himself. However, if he has to tape the fingers of both hands then, it turns into a two-men job. Once you have taped the fingers of one hand, it gets difficult to handle the tape hand taping it on the fingers of the second hand.
Remember, the tape is applied only to joint areas, not to the whole finger as it gets difficult to bend the fingers after taping it completely. The players only tape the whole finger when they try to protect an existing injury or wound.
What are preparations required for taping?
There is a whole list of tools you need to assemble before you start to tape your fingers. First and foremost, you need tapes. Then you need alcohol wipes to clean the fingers, and then you need the medical scissor to cut the tape properly.
- Keep the tapes ready: It is a time-saving hack. All fingers require tape of almost the same length. Hence, if you are looking to tape your fingers, then cut the number of pieces of tape as per the requirement and then tape them around your fingers later.
- Clean your skin and fingers: One must treat normal skin in the same way as they would have treated a wound. Hence, it is vital to clean your fingers with alcohol wipes before applying any tape. If alcohol wipes are not available then one can simply wash the hands with soap.
- Wrap the fingers with tape: Once the fingers are clean, wrap the fingers with tape from the joints only. If the whole finger is wrapped in the tape, then it would be difficult to field properly. Also, it is vital to not wrap the tape too tightly. The tape is there to support fingers but not to stop the blood circulation inside them.
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