Manual of Life - Things You Didn't Realise Till You Did # 39

Cricket is the only non-table-related professional sport* in which the players wear (full-length) pants/trousers.

It goes against the very grain of why all other sports wear shorts - mainly, that one's movement is less restricted, one's skin can breath properly, and in many cases, it is more aerodynamic.

So why is it so? It surely can't be about sunburn, because there are solutions for that. It can't possibly be about the worry that scrapes endured while fielding might get infected, because have you seen how they play rugby?

And even if you argue that a batsman is better off wearing trousers so that the pads don't chafe and get a better grip, why in heck must the fielding side endure hot days wearing these horribly restrictive leggings?

Unless, it's merely about the 'gentleman's game' aspect of cricket. But hey, even tennis was like that, and see how it's evolved.

So. What gives?


The exception to this rule seems to be American sports. Baseball. American football. Also, other 'gentleperson' sports. Golf. And equestrian events (as Feanor pointed out).

NightWatchmen from the comments gives perhaps the best defence - while shorts may help in summer and warm countries, you wouldn't want to be standing around in the outfield at Manchester during the English 'summer' wearing shorts.

* Which excludes billiards and snooker. And chess. And no, leotards do not count. And we're discounting sports where pant-type garments are worn purely for protection, such as motorsports or ice-hockey.


FĂ«anor said...

What about horse-racing and all those other equestrian sports?

km said...

Great question.

Just two points: One, cricket is older than tennis. Shorts, as we know them, probably didn't exist back then. Two, men didn't play tennis, at least at Wimbledon, in shorts till 1946, according to some websites. Google for it.

You may also want to google for a history of Rugby apparel. Rugby players didn't start out wearing shorts to Rugby matches either. It's a more recent development.

NightWatchmen said...

*** In best possible Javed Jaffrey accent***

It's different!!!!!

And by the way your comparisons are unfair, in football, rugby or tennis one could say that at least in the first two cases all team players will be equally involved. On the other hand you can stand all day long at say sweeper cover for 50 overs and get maybe one ball hit to you. In fact if you are on the leg side and Dada is playing that would be one more than what would happen. So yes apart from the keeper and the pace bowlers and maybe the backward point fielder I do not see a great advantage in going for shorts. Now on the other hand trousers seem a much better idea when you are playing at Edgbaston or Eden Park with the cold winds blowing across......

P.S : One could always argue that somehow Monty Panesar/ Jesse Ryder in shorts is the best possible argument for keeping them trousers intact.

Tabula Rasa said...

american football.

??! said...

Good points.

Well, yes. But that's my point. If those two sports have evolved, why hasn't cricket?

Not convinced about the team-part, because there's the possibility that you will be involved frequently. But the bit about needing trousers in cold weather is a great argument for the defence.

Anonymous said...