A cricket bat is an essential part of any cricketer’s game. The wide variety of choice a customer is presented with can often make choosing a bat a confusing process. However it is vital that the player is comfortable with their bat to help instill confidence at the crease. This article will examine the different options available and provide a guide to what makes the perfect bat for the individual.
Cricket bats come in a range of sizes ranging from Size 1 to Long Handle. Junior sizes are numerically graded in ascending order whereas a senior bat comes as either a Short Handle or Long Handle. The lower junior sizes (1-4) are ideal for a first bat to any aspiring young cricketer. If the player is 10 years old or over size 5 or 6 is more suitable. Many cricket bats also come in a Harrow size to help bridge the gap between Junior and senior bats. Depending on the height and strength of the player they are often used by 12-14year olds before they enter the world of senior cricket. The majority of senior players use a short handle bat although long handle bats prove popular with taller batsman or those with larger hands.
The weight of a bat is arguably the most significant choice after the size of the bat has been chosen. Choose a bat too light and the batsman may not be able to generate enough power to clear the boundaries, choose one too heavy and the batsmen may struggle to time his shots correctly. Many junior sizes have a standardised weight that is designed to reflect the age strength and height of a batsman. Senior bats offer a much wider range of weights to cater for individual preferences of the player. The lightest bats start at 2lb 6oz whilst the heaviest can weigh in at 3lb 10oz. Stroke players tend to prefer the lighter to mid range weighted bats whereas the more aggressive players can often be seen wielding 3lb plus bats.
A similar factor to consider when deciding on the weight is the way it affects the pickup and balance of the bat. The pickup refers to how the bat feels relative to its weight in the back lift of the bat swing. It is possible to alter the distribution of the weight by adding extra grips to the bat handle if a more balanced distribution is required. A bat with a good pickup allows someone to use a slightly heavier bat as the wood mass is distributed properly with the middle in the correct place. Connecting with a ball straight out of the middle can be one of the most satisfying experiences as a batsman. Therefore it is essential that the bat offers a forgiving middle or “sweet spot” yet one that provides enough power to ensure scoring runs comes at ease.
To produce the perfect cricket bat is a complex bintang 4d process and one that bat makers have spent years perfecting. Raw materials are naturally grown and not manmade to ensure the highest quality. A good bat is produced by craftsmen whose aim is to combine excellent hitting power with durability. The aim is to strike the balance between quality wood, a “well pressed” bat and ensuring the customer receives great value. Softer pressed bats tend to “go better’ but are even more likely to crack. The harder pressed bats last longer but hitting power is often compromised.
The bat makers’ aim is to strike a balance between all these factors in order to make the best all round cricket bat so that when the batsman takes guard he does so in the knowledge that the equipment in their hand gives them every opportunity to make a telling contribution to his team’s innings.