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Bats

  1. Which Bat is Good For You?
  2. English Willow versus Kashmir Willow
  3. Wood Grades
  4. Style of play - Size, weight, sweet-spot, and handle!
    1. Bat sizes and player height
    2. Weight of Cricket Bats
    3. The Sweet Spot
    4. Handle
  5. Bat Warranty
  6. Bat Care and maintenance

When the willow tree is cut into lengths of roughly 71 cm each, each length or ‘roll' is then divided up to the required size, hopefully obtaining an optimum number of pieces.

Each piece (called in the trade a "cleft") is then shaped to the rough shape of a cricket bat blade. At this stage, the blades are examined to determine the grade based on the quality of the grain and the coloration. Once graded, the blades are sent off to the bat-makers who then bring out the most out of the blade as they shape the bat from the cleft. See the table to see how the grades are determined by the quality of the blade.

 
Grade 1 English Willow
Grade 2 English Willow
Grade 3 English Willow
Kashmir Willow
Bleached?
Unbleached Usually bleached Bleached Bleached
Seasoned Naturally seasoned Naturally seasoned Naturally seasoned Seasoned
Grain Quality Predominantly straight-grained; minor blemishes Mostly straight-grained. Minor blemishes and knots are visible. Not completely straight-grained. Minor blemishes including knot marks with stains/specks Minor blemishes including knot marks/stain.
Coloration Some color on one edge. Color on one edge. Color on one edge. Some coloration. Weight arising from moisture content.
Polycoated or covered No No No. Some bats are covered/polycoated


A Grade 1 Blade

A Grade 1 is the best looking blade money can buy, though it will not necessarily play the best – that depends on the batsman! There may be some red wood evident on the edge of the bat. The grain on the face will be straight and there will be at least 4 grains visible. There may be the odd small knot in the edge or back but the playing area is clean.

A Grade 2 Blade

A Grade 2 blade is also very good quality and normally a larger amount of red wood can be seen on the edge of a bat, this has no effect on the playing ability of the bat it is purely cosmetic. Again there will be at least 4 straight grains on the face of the bat with maybe some blemishes, pin knots or "speck" visible.

A Grade 3 Blade

This is the grade that is produced and sold the most of and it offers decent value for money. A Grade 3 Blade has up to half color across the bat and is sometimes bleached, again this has no direct relation to the playing ability of the wood, it just has less visual attraction. There will be a minimum of 4 grains on the face of the bat which may not always be perfectly straight. Again some small knots or a little 'butterfly' stain may be present with perhaps more prominent "speck".

A Grade 4 Blade

A Grade 4 Blade is normally over half colour or contains butterfly stain. This wood is also normally bleached just to make it "look better", it will still play as well as the other grades. Any number of grains are possible and the willow containing 'butterfly' stain is very strong, there could also be more "speck".

 

 
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