Baz’s bat guide: materials – it’s all in the grades

Saturday 18th October 2014

Kent Cricket Shop manager Barrie Dyer begins his guide to cricket equipment with bats and in the first part, he looks at the materials used in modern bats.

All Cricket bats are made of willow, which is a naturally fibrous wood. The profile of bats have dramatically changed over recent years with Cricket manufacturers making bats with larger profiles and bigger edges.

There are two types of willow used: English Willow and Kashmir Willow

English Willow is a soft, fibrous timber. This type of willow is the preferred choice for the majority of bat manufacturers due to its high performance effect when striking the cricket ball. English willow will become damaged and prone to breakages over time.

The cricket bat can become scarred, bruised and damaged due to the nature of the game and the frequent high intense impacts of the ball hitting the cricket bat.

English cricket bats have become expensive over the last 10 years as good quality English Willow is becoming increasingly hard to find.

Adult English willow bat prices range are from £80 up to £750.

Kashmir willow comes from India and is regarded as a harder wood and does not have the same playing performance i.e. a player will not experience the same shot power when striking the ball.

Kashmir willow is usually used for lower range junior cricket bats priced under £50.

All adult English willow bats are Graded and have specific price points.

Grade 1 –These are the best grade of willow used by professional players. The bat has perfect straight grains with no blemishes or marks on the blade of the bat. These are very expensive and range from £400 – £750.

Grade 2 –Premium unbleached English willow, with straight grains with some blemishes and marks on the blade of the bat. Price range from approx £300 – £400.

Grade 3 –Unbleached willow, with possibly less grains and blemishes/colouring on the bat blade. £150 – £300.

Grade 4 –Bleached willow, which covers up bad knots, blemishes or discolouring. Some Grade 4 bats may even be covered in linen to make them look cosmetically better on the eye. Price ranges from £60 – £150.

For enquiries or advice on cricket equipment, e-mail Barrie Dyer

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