Choosing a cricket bat is never the easiest decision, but getting the best junior cricket bat adds even more considerations. You need to get the best junior cricket bat that is suitable for the age and size of your child, but you may not want to spend a fortune in the process.
Add the fact that your children might be watching thief favourite cricketers and getting their heart set on being just like Ben Stokes or Kane Williamson, and you want them to be delighted when they get their bat, especially if it is their first. We cricketers get a little attached to our equipment.
In this guide, we’re going through the options for the best kids cricket bats. If you’ve never bought a bat for a child before you might need a bit of help understanding exactly what they need, and why there are so many sizes. If you’re a parent who doesn’t play cricket, but your child is desperate for their first bat, the choices can quickly get even more confusing.
Don’t worry, our guide is here to help. Let’s dive into some of the key considerations when finding a suitable junior bat.
Junior Bat Sizes
We might as well dive in with one of the most important aspects of buying junior bats. You need to get the right size.
The best way to match up the size is by the height of the batsman. Keep in mind the fact that children all grow at different rates. While there’s an approximate age rating on the chart above to help you to make your decision, it’s best to measure your kid to check you are getting a bat with a suitable height for them, to keep them comfortable and to develop the correct technique.
The smallest bat length is around 26 ½ inches. It’s amazing that with another 8 inches added on, you’re into adult sizes. Even a junior bat is still not too far off the size of an adult bat. So, what difference does it make? Shouldn’t you just give them an adult bat early to get them used to it?
A child simply can’t develop the right technique if the bat is the wrong size. Even if they do adapt to using a bigger bat, by the time they hit adulthood the technique will be all wrong once again. Keeping the right size of bat is a bit like keeping the right size of trousers! It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation.
A size 1 bat is the smallest our models go, and is recommended for those up to 4ft 3in, but as your children age, our bats go all the way up to size 6 before we move on to the adult bat.
How much do you need to spend to find decent junior cricket bats? Some parents are horrified when they look at cricket bats for children and see that some models are almost as much as the adult versions.
Some people are happy to spend larger sums on the bats. A cricket bat is an investment for your child’s future, and if they are an enthusiastic young sportsperson, it can be a wise investment, too.
However, to go back to the child’s clothing analogy, cricket bats need replacing as your child ages, which can add up. There’s a balance to be struck between quality and price.
The Village Cricket Co Junior Bat was made with this balance in mind. By working directly with the manufacturer, and not spending money on endorsements, we’re able to pass on the savings to the customer and offer some junior bats for as low as £47. For this, you get a reliable and sturdy bat made out of Salix Alba willow. This is a crucial consideration, as we explore below.
You can go into a high street sports shop and you might find a junior bat for £15. This is likely to be little more than a toy. These cheap bats are usually made out of wood composite rather than a solid piece of willow, and this means that as soon as you start hitting cricket balls it is likely to break. It might be ok for use with a practice ball or even a tennis ball, but not for those who are serious about playing cricket.
English Willow and Kashmir Willow are the two realistic options if you are going to buy a bat for use in any sort of match.
Salix Alba willow, often found in India, is cheaper because it is slightly more abundant. It’s used in the Village Cricket Co Junior Bat. Sachin Tendulkar used this type of wood in his career, so if it’s good enough for Sachin…
English willow can be tough to get your hands on, and while it makes a beautiful bat, if you want this type of wood in a child’s bat often means paying inflated prices.
Cricket bats require maintenance. Some require maintenance before you even take to the field.
“Knocking in” is the process of gradually compressing the fibres of the bat using a mallet or even a ball in a sock. This is a way to get the bat prepared for being struck with a ball, so that it doesn’t crack or break. It needs to be done regularly, but having to do it before you even use the bat is annoying.
The Village Cricket Bat is shipped to you having been knocked in at no additional cost. Once the bat arrives, you can head straight out with your mates for a net session and not have to worry about whether it is going to crack.
Over time, the bat will need some maintenance. You can check our guide to maintaining your cricket bat here for more information on how you can oil and knock in your cricket bat, but this is something you should only need to do after a few months of solid use.
If you’re new to cricket, you might not feel particularly comfortable taking on the knocking in of a bat anyway. It’s far better to have this done by someone who knows what they are doing, so you don’t run the risk of the bat breaking.
If you buy a bat that is not pre-knocked in and don’t do the process properly before use, the bat could break in the first session. Even though kids playing cricket aren’t likely to be throwing hard cherries down at 90 miles per hour, the force can still damage a bat that isn’t properly looked after and primed for use. Take the worry out of the equation by getting a bat that is ready to use the day it arrives.
The Village Cricket Co Junior Bat – A Bat For Hitting Boundaries
Our bat has been designed with all of the considerations above. We know that it can get expensive if you have to keep replacing the bat as your children go through growth spurts, so we’ve created a bat that is affordable, without losing any quality.
Our junior bat can be bought in sizes 1 to 6. It’s incredibly sturdy, in spite of being lightweight enough to still hit plenty of boundaries whether you are a defensive or an attacking player. The low middle means this bat has an impressive pickup. When you go to slog, you can reach the boundary just by getting your timing right. Your kids will be excited about just how far they can hit the ball if they hit the sweet spot while batting.
Some cricket bats are actually designed to break so that you have to buy a replacement. Our bats are built to last. We know that your child’s love of cricket probably costs you a fair amount of money anyway, so you don’t want to have to buy replacement bats because they have broken as well as having to buy a new bat when your kid outgrows their old size.
Our bat comes knocked in free of charge, and the process has been done by employees who know their way around our bat, so there are no nasty surprises when it arrives.
If you want a bat that feels professional without costing the earth, that’s what the Village Cricket Co. is all about. While you are more likely to see an England or Australia batsman using a Kookaburra or New Balance bat, these may be a bit pricey for junior players. Many junior cricket clubs will buy multiple versions of our bat in different sizes to make sure there is always something available in the kitbag for any member of the team who doesn’t have the right gear.
Most cricket bat manufacturers offer some form of junior bats. Usually they will have a budget range, and a premium range.
Popular bats include the Powerbow Inferno 200 Junior Cricket Bat by Gray Nicholls. This is made out of English willow and weighs 1lb 14oz – 2lb 06oz depending on which size you go for. This bat has a bright design with lots of yellow and red. It’s clearly designed to be eye-catching. The English willow is definitely food quality, but it adds to the cost of the bat.
Another option from a different brand is the New Balance DC 680. The brand has endorsements from cricketers like Jason Roy and Steve Smith. The junior bat is made from Grade 3 English Willow and it has quite a low and large sweet spot to allow for big-hitting, as well as large edges. The downside of a bat like this is the cost. You may shell out hundreds for the bat and then your child outgrows it in a matter of months.
Adidas, Gunn & Moore, Kookaburra, and budget brands like Slazenger also make cricket bats, but you need to be sure you’re getting the balance between value and quality. Salix alba willow sourced in India may be the key to unlocking this.
Why are the Village Cricket Co bats cheaper than many competing models?
The Village Cricket Co set out with a dream of keeping our bats affordable, and within reach of the average village cricketer. By using Salix Alba willow from India, and refusing to spend huge sums of money chasing professional endorsements, we’re able to pass on anything we save directly to customers and create a value bat that won’t let you down.
Where is the bat made?
India. The bat is made out of Salix Alba willow and produced in India before shipping to the UK.
Why does the bat have a low middle?
Creating a bat with a low middle and sweet spot was a conscious decision. English pitches tend to have a low and slow bounce. Young players can make better contact and score more runs and even boundaries using a bat that has a low middle, especially in English conditions.
The best junior cricket bat is not just about quality. It’s about fitting your budget, and finding a bat that you can rely on for years to come. Our Village Cricket Bat for juniors is perfect for kids to play to their heart’s content and not have to worry about maintenance until it has spent a long time out of use.
The bat comes knocked in for free. Many cricket teams have stocked our bats for their junior players to use in practice sessions and matches. Making sure there is always a solid and reliable piece of willow in the kit bag is essential for junior cricket. That way, if someone forgets their equipment they can still have a knock on a Saturday morning.
Whether you are looking for a club bat to share or a companion for a budding cricketer, the Village Cricket Co. has options in all junior sizes as well as for adults.