Detailed Guide on Cricket Bats
A cricket bat is simply equipment made from wooden (English Willow, Kashmir Willow) pieces used by a cricketer (mainly cricket batsman) in the cricket sport to hit the ball. Generally, a cricket bat consists of a cane handle that is attached to a flat-fronted wooden blade willow. The cricket bat is usually preserved and protected with the linseed oil. However, the durability, toughness, and shock-resistance are dependent upon its willow grade, its grain structure and moisture level.
But when a cricketer is looking for a perfect bat, then he\she should keep his eyes focused on specific parameters. So, let us start with the size of the cricket bat.
The cricket bat size and weight
Whenever a cricketer or any new individual in cricket sports is choosing their bat, make sure first to ask yourself which bat size is the best for you? And how much weight is right? Selecting the right size and weight of the bat is crucial for every sportsperson.
According to the laws of cricket, the size of a cricket bat should not be more than 38 inches or 965 mm. The width of the bat is not more than 4.25 inches or 108 mm. The edge of the bat must be 1.56 inches or 40 mm.
The exact depth of the bat should not exceed 2.65 inches or 67 mm. This rule updated in 2017. The umpire is provided with bat gauge so they can check the legality of the bat anytime in between the game also.
Although there are no specific parameters for the weight of the bat, still the standard weight of the bat of Kashmir willow bat is around 1180 to 1240 GMs while weight of Kashmir willow bat is around 1155 to 1220 Gms.(Weight of English willow bat is leas as compare to Kashmir willow bat)
A cricket bat is available in a different range of sizes. For the children, the size of the bat will range from 0 to 6. However, the size of the bat for an adult is mentioned above. The adult bat size comes with a short handle while the long handle is still in option to be customized. The sizes of the bat of children vary. As when they increase, the size also increases. But for the adults, these parameters are fixed.
The shape and profile of the cricket bat:
In today's scenario, the speed of the game is changed. So nowadays, players go for a thick blade bat with a massive profile which can offer them great knocking power. Usually, the players follow these parameters like-
The bow of the cricket bat: It should be distinct, large and subtle
The edge thickness: In between the range of 36 to 40 mm
The back-profile concavity: The concavity refers to the woodcut out from the sides of the batting spine. It is done to reduce the weight of the bat and improve picking.
The swell depth: In between the range of 63 mm to 65 mm
Types of willows used in a cricket bat
The cricket bats are made up of flat-front willow. Most commonly, two types of willows are there: English and Kashmiri willow. The English willow is the UK based whereas Kashmiri willow is Indian based.
The English willow bats give high and finest performance as it is light weight in nature and have tendency of compressibility. The English willow bat consists of 3 to 14 grains based upon the type of willow and its grades. Typically, English willow cleft is processed with the natural drying technique to give the best willow performance.
The Kashmiri willow
The Kashmiri willow bats are quite heavy, and it might be perfect for the beginners. The Kashmiri willow bat is even harder and fit in the budget of the sportsperson who is just beginning their game. The grains of the Kashmiri willow bat are not so clear and straight as compared to the English willow bat. But if you are beginning your game, then this will be perfect for you.
The willow grade differences
The willow grade differences determine the quality of the willow. The English willow bats are classified into grades based on their quality:
Grade 1 (A) Players English willow:
The best willow which the player can buy is Grade 1 (A) + willow. The blade of the bat is normally unbleached with 10-14 grains. It is also blemished free to some extent. The price of the English willow bat for a full-size bat is Rs 40000/- to Rs 80000/-, and for the junior blade, it will be Rs 25000/- to 35000/. The English willow cricket bats Grade 1 (A) are designed for professional cricket players.
Grade 1 (A) English willow:
The grade 1 (A) English willow is high quality unbleached and naturally dried. This willow bats are also consider best after player’s grade. It is with slightly narrow grain (8 to 10) and with no blemishes. The price of the English willow bat is in the range of Rs 25000/- to Rs40000/- .
Grade 2 English willow:
To In grade 2 English willow clefts (Grains are 7 to 9), the grains are irregular and are minor blemished. The English willow bat with grade 2 is unbleached and sometime has red-wood on the edges. The price range of this bat is between Rs 15000/-to Rs 25000/- for a full-size blade.
Grade 3 English willow:
The grade three English willow is an unbleached willow that comes with a natural drying process. The willow is provided with 5 to 7 grains with irregular grain profiling. Blemishes observe on the front of the bat. The bat with grade 3 English willow is for intermediate players of the cricket. English Willow bat price in grade 3 is nearly Rs 10000/- to Rs 14000/- for a full-size blade.
Grade 4 English willow:
The grade 4 English willow is covered with protective facing and also sold as non-oil. The grains are limited to only 3-4 and are also irregular. The price of the grade 4 English willow bat is Rs 6000 /- to Rs 10000/- for a full-sized blade.
The Kashmiri willow:
The Kashmiri willow bat is quite heavy and has irregular grains. The Kashmiri willow is harder. The price of the Kashmiri willow is slightly lower than that of the English grain willow, and it is quite affordable for those who have a small budget.
The grains of the cricket bat
The grains that we have mentioned in the grades of English willow define the quality and performance of the bat. The larger the grains, the better will be the performance of the bat and better is the quality of willow, however it is not always true that more grains means better performance. We have seen in many cases wherein bat with 5 to 6 grains offers great performance and sometime better than bat with 10 to 12 grains. So ideally bat with 6 to 8 but with better profile and balance will offer better performance as compare to bat with 10 to grains with poor balance or profile.
Grains should be straight and clear and should appear to toe and back with same clarity and in numbers. Some bats like SS magnum and SG super cover and NB bats (around 4000 Rs) cones with artificial grains on front face of the bat.
The types of the handle of the cricket bat
The cane handle is often available with covered rubber for easy gripping and maximum shock absorption. The cane handle is available in different types and lengths like an oval, round, thick, thin, long, short, and regular oval.
The short handle oval shape is generally preferred for the sportsperson having height 5ft 9 inches. The length of the handle is approximately 85 cm or nearly 33 inches. Almost, all the bats are available at this size handle.
However, the long handle oval shape adds an extra inch to the bat for the sportsperson with a height of above 6ft. The long handle also supports straight body posture for the sportsman having a height above 6ft.
The flexibility and gripping with ease depends upon the type of handle in the bat. The right handle will result in the biggest knock performance with firm gripping. One may observe the oval shape with a triangular shape fitted in the blade, which is also good for performing the best. But the length of the handle will vary from short handle to long handle. It will depend upon the height of the person.
The bat based upon batting style and sweet spot:
In every bat, there is a sweet spot- the area that generates maximum ball timing. But the location of this sweet spot depends upon the construction and shape of the bat. Depending upon the batting style, the shape of the bat is unique to you. For instance- the front foot player feels more comfortable in knocking with the bat having lower-middle sweet spots. But the back-foot player will go for the higher middle bats which is ideal for the pulls and cuts.
So, along with these parameters of selecting a good bat for the highest performance, one must correctly maintain their bat to prevent it from damage. Thus, before and after the performance, the bat must be stored at a moderate temperature. One must try to avoid wet conditions. Do not over oil the bat, and try to avoid excessive mis-trim shots.
Cricket Bat Maintenance:
Proper maintenance and care are essential to get better durability and longer bat life. The most fragile parts of bat are toe and edges of bat. Properly knocked and prepared edges and toe will offer better life of bat. Main purpose of oiling the bat to keep the willow moisture level of the optimum level, knocking-in the bat to compress the fibers and reduce the risk of cracking, and regularly inspecting the bat for any signs of damage.
Brand and Price and Quality of bat:
There are several cricket bat manufacturers, each with their own reputation for quality and performance. Popular brands include SS, SG, BDM, Thrax, Gray-Nicolls, GM, Kookaburra, and New Balance, among others. The price of a cricket bat can vary depending on the brand, quality of willow, and other features.
When selecting a cricket bat, it's recommended to consult with a knowledgeable cricket equipment online expert (Like in khelmart, we have expert who can guide you during entire sale process and help in selecting perfect piece as per your need).
Oiling and Knocking of Bat:
Oiling, knocking are important and essential processes in cricket bat maintenance (especially for English willow bat as willow is soft as compare to Kashmir willow) that help to get the optimal performance and durability.
Details of oiling and knocking are as follow:
Oiling helps to moisturize and protect the moisture level of willow. Willow is a natural material that can dry out over time, making it prone to cracking and damage. Oiling helps to maintain the moisture level in the willow and improve its durability.
How frequent oiling needs to be done: It is recommended to oil a new cricket bat before using it for the first time. Additionally, regular oiling every few months or when the bat starts to feel dry is beneficial for its long-term maintenance.
a. Clean the wax polish of new bat or remove dirt of old bats: Start by wiping the bat with a clean cloth or sponge or soft emery paper to remove any dirt or wax.
b. Apply oil: Use raw linseed oil or a specialized cricket bat oil. Apply a light coat of oil to the face, edges, toe, and back of the bat using a soft cloth or brush. Make sure to avoid excessive oiling. One coat of proper oiling is sufficient to oil the bat.
c. Allow absorption: Leave the bat in a horizontal position or gently prop it up vertically, ensuring excess oil drips off. Let the bat absorb the oil for at least 24 hours.
Many payers do mistake to use the brand new bat directly to machetes with new balls and then complaint for bat crack. Knocking is the process of compressing the fibers in the willow blade to reduce the risk of cracks and improve performance. It helps to enhance the bat's power, durability, and feel.
Knocking is typically done after the oiling process for a new bat. It is essential before using the bat in a match or net practice to prevent premature damage and maximize performance.
a. Use a mallet: A wooden mallet or a specialized bat knocking mallet is used for knocking. Avoid using a hard ball or any other object that can cause excessive force or damage the bat.
b. Focus on the face, edges, and toe: Gently and evenly tap the face of the bat with the mallet, starting from the middle and gradually moving towards the edges. Pay attention to the toe area as well. The goal is to compress the fibers gradually without causing any damage.
c. Rotate and repeat: Rotate the bat and continue the knocking process on different areas of the face, edges, and toe. This ensures uniform compression across the blade.
d. Increase intensity: Gradually increase the force of the knocking over several sessions. Start with light taps and progress to firmer hits as the bat becomes more prepared. The entire knocking process can take several hours or even a few days, depending on the bat and the intensity of knocking.
Price List of Best English Willow Cricket bats Under Rs 6000/-:
Price List of Best English Willow Cricket bats Under Rs 20000/- :
SG KLR Ultimate English Willow Cricket Bat
SS GG Smacker Players English Willow Cricket bat
Thrax Black Edition Premium English Willow Cricket Bat
BDM Dynamic Power Super English Willow Cricket Bat
Thrax Roar Ultimate English Willow Cricket Bat
SF SD Ranger English Willow Cricket Bat
SG Roar LE English Willow Cricket Bat
SS Retro Classic Max Power English Willow Cricket Bat
SS Retro Black Edition English Willow Cricket Bat
MRF Genius Limited Edition English Willow Cricket Bat Standard Size
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