If you’re just getting into cricket, or picking up the bat again after decades not playing, you’ll need to get a reliable accomplice. Your cricket bat is nothing short of vital, whether you’re a specialist batsman, a bowler, or you fancy yourself as the next Ben Stokes.
Some sports allow you to get playing quickly as long as you’ve got some half-suitable gear, but this is not the case with cricket. In fact, if you buy a poor-quality bat or you don’t look after it properly, it will break.
So it’s critical that you do your research, and that’s why we’ve collected all the information you should need to choose a suitable cricket bat for you within this post. Give it a bit of thought before hitting the buy button and you’re much more likely to get a bat that can last you a number of years, rather than something you will have to replace after a few months.
It’s easily done. You check out your favourite cricketer, look up their bat…and it’s £500. This might be fine if you really are going to become the next Ben Stokes, but in all likelihood, you just need a bat to help you in the nets and the eight balls you might face on a Saturday.
The price can vary a huge amount. In fact, you could go into a sports shop on the high street and buy a bat for £30, but we do not recommend this. In all likelihood, this will be made out of poor-quality laminate wood, and it will break as soon as a ball hits it.
It’s rare to find a good bat for less than £100, but it is possible. Our Village Cricket Bat is made to provide an affordable yet reliable bat that can last years, and we keep prices down by not chasing sponsorships of the professionals, and using high-grade Salix Alba Willow sourced in India.
The price is even lower if you get one of our junior bats, which are affordable but still incredibly durable.
In the mid-range of the market, you’re often looking at spending £200-300 to get something reliable.
On top of all the other equipment you might need to start playing cricket, this can be annoyingly expensive. We don’t believe there should be such a big barrier to entry and our bat is made with the village cricketer in mind.
At the top end of the market, you can easily spend £500 on a bat. But should you do so? Well, if you’ve got the money we’re not going to stop you. This sort of money on a bat is usually more suitable if you’re a professional, or aspiring pro.
Establishing what size of cricket bat is much more difficult for juniors than it tends to be for adult batters.
Fortunately, there’s a convenient chart that you can use (below) which accounts for the height and age of a batter.
Sizes 1-6 tend to be graded for children to use. The Harrow size is a sort of in-between for shorter adults, women, and teenagers. Adult sizes tend to be broken down between SH and LH, short handle, and long handle models for different builds of adults. Even if you’re going to buy your bat online it might make sense that you go to a sports store to get some idea of the difference in sizes.
|BAT SIZE||APPROX. AGE||HEIGHT OF BATTER||BAT LENGTH||BAT WIDTH|
|1||4-6 Years Old||Up to 4ft 3inches||25 1/4 inches||3 1/2 inches|
|2||6-8 Years Old||4ft 3″ – 4ft 6″||27 3/4 inches||3 1/2 inches|
|3||8-9 Years Old||4ft 6″ – 4ft 9″||28 3/4 inches||3 3/4 inches|
|4||9-10 Years Old||4ft 9″ – 4ft 11″||29 3/4 inches||3 3/4 inches|
|5||10-11 Years Old||4ft 11″ – 5ft 2″||30 3/4 inches||4 inches|
|6||11-13 Years Old||5ft 2″ – 5ft 5″||31 3/4 inches||4 inches|
|HARROW||12-14 Years Old||5ft 5″ – 5ft 8″||32 3/4 inches||4 1/6 inches|
|FULL SIZE (Short Handle)||15+ Years Old||5ft 8″ – 6ft 3″||33 1/2 inches||4 1/4 inches|
|FULL SIZE (Long Handle/Blade)||15+Years Old||6ft 3″ and above||34 3/8 inches||4 1/4 inches|
Cricket bats tend to weigh between 2lb 7oz and 2lb 10 oz. The difference is subtle, but it does make a difference.
If you want to know if you can handle the bat, hold it at arm’s length, and if it is comfortable for extended periods of time then this could be the bat for you.
In the world of cricket bats there is always a compromise. Some thicker and heavier bats can hit the ball a distance, but it might be harder for you to manoeuvre with a bat like this. A touch player might want a lighter bat.
There’s always a balance to be struck. The Village Cricket Bat is a 2lb 9oz model, and suitable for the more intricate player or the power-hitter. You need to be able to access all areas with your bat, and it shouldn’t feel like trying to swing a giant kettlebell.
The wood used on a cricket bat is an area of some debate. The term ‘swinging the willow’ is accurate, as the vast majority of cricket bats are made out of willow.
There is a specific type of willow used, as Weeping Willow, the most popular variety, is not suitable due to its density.
Salix Alba is the wood used, and this is grown in the UK, but also in India. Englishmen grew this willow in parts of India with a similar climate to the UK in an attempt to create a more abundant source. The wood is identical in terms of genetic makeup, but there are a few subtle differences due to the climate, including the colour.
Indian Salix Alba has some benefits. As well as being much more affordable, it even lasts longer before you need to replace it. This wood has been used by some big-name cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. “Kashmir” willow is what is used in the Village Cricket Bat.
Shape (and the “Sweet Spot”)
Most modern bats are designed to be all-rounders. They can do a good job no matter what type of player you are, but some do have a certain advantage for some styles of play.
For instance, a mid or even low sweet spot (the strong area where you want the ball to hit) is great for playing off of the front foot. Higher sweet spots are good for back foot players.
Plenty of bats, including the Village Cricket Bat, can be used for a variety of styles of play. If you get a bat that can do both, you don’t have to worry too much about matching up the shape, curvature, or sweet spot to suit your style.
The brand of a cricket bat can be a difficult thing to get your head around. Of course, certain brands do indicate quality. The big brands often got to where they are by having a great track record of making incredible bats. However, brands have a lot of overheads.
Big brands spend money sponsoring professionals and ‘chasing’ players to endorse their bats. At the Village Cricket Co., we avoid doing this so that we can pass the savings on to our customers.
Some smaller brands are still capable of creating fantastic bats that are great value for money. It’s also possible to buy a dud bat from a big brand.
For amateur cricketers, it doesn’t usually make sense to pay for the big-name brands, especially if you are going to have to replace your bat after a few years. Value and brand are both considerations that work closely together.
This is a difficult thing to judge, but if you buy a bat that isn’t made out of quality willow, don’t expect it to last you a long time. Instead, you should find something that is made out of high-quality wood, and from a brand with a history of making great bats. As we’ve already mentioned, Kashmir willow can be a good solution if you want a bat to last.
If you want your bat to last, it isn’t just about buying something that is high-quality, as our next point explains…
You need to look after your bat. Keep it in a place where there won’t be extreme changes in temperature. Don’t be tempted to leave the bat in the back of your car where it will be subjected to drops in temperature and then rises in temperature when the sun hits.
The most important aspect of maintenance for a cricket bat is “knocking-in” which you need to do with a new bat, or one you haven’t used in a while. You can pay a sports shop to do this if you want, but a lot of village cricketers choose to do it themselves. It’s not a great deal of fun.
Knocking-in involves continually hitting the bat with a mallet to bind the fibres together and increase the strength. You’re effectively preparing it for those 70mph deliveries to hit it.
You also need to oil the bat, to reinvigorate it and strengthen it.
These can be tough skillsl to master, and if you’ve never done it before you might make a mistake. You don’t want to mess up and risk your £400 bat getting broken first use.
Fortunately, the Village Cricket Bat comes already knocked in. You’re ready to use it the minute it arrives at your front door, and you can go straight to the nets and start hitting.
There are a few more things to consider when you are choosing a suitable cricket bat, and some may even be unique to your own situation.
Bats for Kids – They Will Grow Out of Them
This is one of the most important considerations if you are buying a cricket bat for juniors. They grow fast. It’s the same conundrum you may have when buying clothes for children, you don’t want to spend a fortune on something they won’t get any use out of this time next year.
There’s definitely a balance to be struck when it comes to choosing a cricket bat for junior players. You don’t want something that will break straight away, but similarly, spending £300 every time your child goes up a size in bat is just not sustainable for a lot of people.
How Regularly Do You Play?
Do you play cricket once a week on a Saturday? Or is it your life? If you’re a young cricketer and you have ambitions to play at a high level, your demands from a bat might be a little higher than your average Joe who is just happy to see a few deliveries on the weekends.
Also, you’ll need to think about the punishment your bat is going to take. At a high level, your bat could face hundreds of 80mph deliveries. At a village level, you might be facing 40mph more regularly.
The Pitches You Play On
The Village Cricket Bat is made for use on English pitches, primarily, with a low pickup to suit the lower bounce of the English conditions. This is definitely worth considering before you make your decision on which bat to buy.
The Village Cricket Bat – Value and Quality
Our bat has been designed to give a “best of both worlds” option to cricketers. We don’t chase endorsements or waste marketing budget, instead, we create a reliable bat that can help you hit six after six on your local pitch. We understand that cricket equipment can be expensive, so the idea of getting a great bat for around £100, or even less for juniors, can be very appealing.