Lots of kids these days seem to love football.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with ‘the beautiful game’ – but what if your child (or adult!) loves cricket? What if they’re more about off-breaks than offside?
|Looking for more gift ideas? Check out:
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Last minute Father’s Day gifts
– or for sporty kids –
How to choose a kids cricket bat
How to pick the right tennis racket size for kids
We’ve all got that relative or loved one who’s impossible to buy for. How many unique cricket themed presents and ideas are there? Well, since you ask: lots!
Here are our suggestions for:
Brilliant, unusual Presents for cricket fans
- Tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground
- Afternoon Tea at Lord’s
- Net session at Lord’s
- Crazy Catch
- Cricket sets
- Cricket Top Trumps
- Owzthat game
- Official code
- Cricket sticker book
- 101 Cricket Drills book
- Cricket DVDs
- Vintage cricket bat
- Lord’s picture
- Personalised cricket pic
The Home of Cricket
Where else to start other than the Home of Cricket, Lord’s?
Unless you fancy joining the ballot, getting (very) lucky and then shelling out way over £100 for a ticket that England v Australia Ashes Test Match experience is going to have to wait.
But that doesn’t mean that trip to Lord’s has to.
There are a stack of other great ways to get into the famous ‘Mecca of Cricket’ that are not only much cheaper than watching a Test but also don’t take all day (a key point if the entire family are not cricket nuts) and, arguably, you get an even better trip to Lord’s.
Tour of Lord’s
The behind the scenes tours of Lord’s are brilliant.
Pro Tip: Time it right. If there’s a match on (Middlesex County Cricket Club play many of their home matches there) the dressing rooms will be busy and therefore off-limits for that day’s tours.
With that tip in mind, you get to see the dressing rooms, the Long Room, the famous Media Centre, the views from some of the famous stands, the Nursery Ground and most tours wind up in the MCC Museum – home of the one and only Ashes Urn, the star of the show amidst a glittering collection of cricketing memorabilia much of it donated or loaned by world-famous stars of the game.
It’s not nearly as expensive as you might imagine: Kids (aged 5-15) are £15; (students also £15). Adults are £24 – but you can get a family ticket (two adults; two kids) for £50.
If you want to make a real day out of it you can add cream tea in the Tavern Restaurant for £7 per person.
Afternoon Tea at Lord’s
If the idea of the cream tea is the most appealing part of the tour, above – why not make a day of that?
You can book Afternoon Tea in the famous Long Room at Lord’s.
It’s not cheap (£57 per person; £67 if you’d like champagne) but these are special occasions.
There are given dates each year when the Afternoon Tea’s take place and space is limited.
But what better place to have a special, cricket-flavoured trip? The Long Room is where Members of MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club, custodians of the Laws of Cricket and owners of Lord’s) watch matches and where every Test match player who has ever played at the ground walks through on their route from dressing room to pitch.
The artworks in the room make it part art gallery too. A special treat.
Net session at Lord’s
If your cricket fan is more active dinker than tea drinker, they may prefer a net session at the iconic venue.
Your future Twenty20 star can stroll in through the Grace Gates and head for the Nursery Ground’s indoor training pitches. You can book an indoor net session on the astro-turf trodden by international superstars.
Nets start from £50 but if they’re part of a team why not invite a friend or two along?
A Hawk-Eye session for 1-2 players, with TV-like analysis of their bowling accuracy, starts at £110. PitchVision session (the equivalent for batters) starts at £105 for 1-2 players. You can add in one of MCC’s own top-notch coaches for around £30 per session too.
If your budding Sachin Tendulkar, Jimmy Anderson or Katherine Brunt is always pestering you to bowl at them or bat for them etc. you may want to invest in a Crazy Catch.
The rebound net system is perfect fielding practice for slip catching practise but also just reflex testing or general fielding drills.
You can use these as a competitive game (two or more players bouncing the ball off it to each other). It’s made so that no two bounces are the same, unusual ricochets or angles will keep your catchers sharp.
This short video gives you an idea of the products available from smaller hand-held rebound systems or frame-based nets which are free-standing on the floor and can be useful for batting practise as well as fielding.
They start at around £35 a piece with the larger nets pushing towards £200 (check out the full range).
You can’t go wrong with a good cricket set.
Ideal for the beach, back garden or in the park.
The key is getting the right size bat for your budding Joe Root. Too big and they’re like a knight trying to wield a sword that’s too heavy for them.
Too small and it’s like watching a giant try and bat with a toothpick.
Check out our guide on how to pick the right size cricket bat. Most kids cricket sets will state the bat size by number (1-6), and that guide has a handy size/height/age chart to help .
SportsDirect do some good, affordable cricket sets – from less than £10 in some cases, for plastic ‘bat, ball and stumps’ sets (perfect for the beach); up to £20-30 for a set with two complete wickets and two bats (if you’re planning to play anything more than ‘last man standing’ one vs. one games).
This Sticky Wicky set is great fun too and ideal if you’re fed-up of having to umpire your squabbling Test match stars.
It uses velcro-like material to make the stumps (and only the stumps!) sticky. If the ball sticks, you’re out. If not, you’re not!
Cricket Top Trumps
Looking for a game your cricket-addict can get into when ‘rain stops play’?
Top Trumps is a classic and these World Cricket Stars themed sets will appeal to your child’s inner statistician.
Each card features one of cricket’s international super stars.
The game is to compare your card’s stats against your opponent’s – who has the most… career runs, wickets, catches etc. Best score wins both cards. Get all the cards, you win!
Top Trumps are a great way to pass the time whilst waiting for your turn to bat, on trips to away games or just for loads of cricket-based fun!
Owzthat – Cricket dice game
Speaking of rainy day games, Owzthat is a classic.
Brilliantly quirky (it comes with two, unique and fabulously satisfying-to-roll, long, octagonal die/dice) which, according to Wikipedia are a result of the pre-War creators trimming down traditional pencils to use as make-shift dice to make what was then called Pencil Cricket.
The best part is you can play with any number of players (so long as each team has the same number) so can really immerse yourself in your own imaginary Ashes Test or India vs. Pakistan face-off:
Bringing Mum on to bowl from the Pavilion End, to try and upset the budding batting partnership between Dad and Uncle Joe.
Or… you can play it alone. Ideal for the bored kid, stuck indoors when they’d rather be playing cricket.
Note: The stock levels of the original Owzthat game tend to fluctuate often. If you cannot find Owzthat, the alternatives (above) from Amazon are equally satisfying to play if lacking slightly in the original’s charm.
If Owzthat taps into your child’s inner cricket scorer and statistician, what better way to channel their burgeoning umpiring career than with the official Laws of Cricket.
Note: “laws” not “rules” — a surefire way to spot the real cricket buff from the pretender!
This little book is only officially available from MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), owners of Lord’s and custodians of the Laws.
And at just £3.50 you can’t go too far wrong.
It’s a beautiful thing too. Small enough to slip into a back pocket (ideal to settle those debates in your park-based one day internationals!) and beautifully printed to give it real gravitas.
Every cricket fan should have one.
Cricket sticker book
Another good indoor alternative for cricket loving kids is a good sticker book.
- Emily Bone (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 34 Pages - 04/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Usborne Publishing Ltd (Publisher)
We love the whole range of sticker activity books from Usborne – they featured in our post on How to Entertain Kids on Long Journeys without Screens.
This one has a great cricket flavour.
Your batting and bowling-mad child can use the stickers to kit out their cricketer; master the names of fielding positions; learn about the laws of the game and much more besides.
101 Cricket Drills book
Luke Sellers, an experienced cricket coach, has written a number of great cricket coaching guides.
101 Youth Cricket Drills comes in two ‘flavours’ for ages 7-11 and from 12-16 year-olds.
Though both are aimed more at coaches who might coach young players of those ages, more mature cricket players (in the 12-16 year-old categories especially) will be able to handle many of these drills on their own.
There’s lots of theory here around technique and skill but lots of illustrations and explanations too.
In each of the books there are practises around each of the key cricket skills.
Sellers has also penned a shorter guide specifically about fielding. Given the athleticism expected of every player in modern cricket, you can help your young player develop into a modern-day Jonty Rhodes (ask your Dad).
- Check price of 101 Youth Cricket Drills (age 7-11) on Amazon
- Check price of 101 Youth Cricket Drills (age 12-16) on The Book People
- Check price Cricket Fielding on The Book People
Yes, I know… DVDs are not exactly de rigeur these days. John Lewis even announced they’re not going to see DVD players any more…
But, let’s face it, many of us still have access to some form of DVD player, even if it’s an old laptop.
Plus it means that there are some absolute bargains to be had with DVDs and box sets.
You can pick up the atmospheric Cricket’s Greatest Rivalry for a steal with over two hours of interviews, insight and flashbacks to brilliant Ashes moments.
Vintage cricket bat
Much as some of the cricket bats of today are astonishing feats of engineering — some which can make even a mishit rattle off to the boundary rope at a rate of knots — they’re not exactly beautiful.
The same cannot be said of the wonderful old bats of yester-year. Some of them are akin to works of art — and the cricket mad kid in your house will certainly think so.
SportingAntiques on Etsy sell some lovely looking things, including these cricket bats from the 50s and 60s.
You can pick one up for about £40 (considerably less than their modern day equivalents!) and they’d look brilliant on the wall, on display on a shelf or just flung casually in the corner as a nonchalant decoration, developing it’s own history and story to go with it!
Talking of decorating how about this gorgeous thing for your cricket fan’s wall?
This almost Opie-like stylised picture of the iconic Media Centre at Lord’s (home of BBC’s Test Match Special et al during Lord’s Tests) would be a brilliant addition to any young fan’s bedroom wall.
It’s only £8 too!
Note it doesn’t come with the frame though, so remember to set some money aside to get a great frame to really cap it off.
Personalised cricket pic
Or how about something a bit more personal or personalised?
You can get one of these cricketer pictures personalised to your burgeoning batter.
There are 22 colours to pick from and/or mix as you see fit.
And you can get it in two different sizes (A5 or A4) with or without a frame.
Prices start at just £6.99 (A5, no frame); up to £21.99 (A4, framed).
This Etsy seller does a range of other outline shapes too — from sports cars to ‘significant age’ milestones — but we think your young cricket fan would love this.
Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API