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Do you remember the first time you held a cricket bat?
Of course, you do! It’s one such experience no cricket fan would ever forget. Holding a cricket bat, bowling a spin, or catching a ball in mid-air are all experiences that stay with you forever. The sum of all those experiences could even push you to become a professional cricketer.
As a professional, it is as important to know your bat as you should know the game. And FYI, there are four different cricket bats—each with many variations. But without question, you should have tried all four bats because it plays a part in developing your game.
So without further ado, let’s find out the types of cricket bats.
As the name suggests, softball cricket bats and a tennis ball or softball are a package. Young players start out with these bats when they start. They are more accessible in every way; even in terms of money, they cost much less than a professional bat.
Softball bats are manufactured using quality wood and soft rubber. So, the users of these bats mostly involve children or new batters in their learning phases.
Because this is not considered a professional bat, it does not require knocking in or oiling. Thus, it also cannot be part of any international cricket matches. Simply, it is a gear for young players to practise or develop their game.
If you host a friendly neighbourhood cricket match or want to learn the game, these softball cricket bats would be good. However, these bats would need you to put more power into striking the ball.
This is the first bat you would essentially use to improve your skillset. These bats can be made from either English willow or Kashmir willow; no strict rule for the wood used.
Training bats are available in many different widths and sizes. The width of some of these training cricket bats is half the regular bats’ width. Some will also come with shorter handles.
Much like the other professional bats, the training bats also go through the process of knocking in and oiling. All this helps minimise the chance of the bat snapping.
All things considered, these bats are particularly helpful for coaches and batters in pro cricket.
Willow is the most famous type of wood for cricket bats. Willow comes in two varieties—English willow and Kashmir willow. As alternatives, teak and sal wood are also widely used for bat making. However, because of handcrafting, willow bats are of higher quality than teak and sal-made bats.
Also, there are significant distinctions between English and Kashmir willow bats. While English willow grows in England, Kashmir willow is only found in certain parts of Kashmir (India and Pakistan). These two varieties of willow also differ in both quality and appearance.
In appearance, English willow is significantly whiter than Kashmir willow, which is more brownish. Due to this variation in shade, cricket bats manufactured from Kashmir willow are easily distinguished from English willow cricket bats.
Kashmir willow is one of the most preferred materials for cricket bats thanks to its many features:
● Shock resistance
● Classy appearance
Due to all these essential qualities, Kashmir willow bats are used by professional cricket players. The maintenance procedure for these bats involves the following:
● Covering the bat’s striking area with a protective film.
● Knocking in and oiling with raw linseed oil (keeps the surface tacky).
More importantly, remember that these bats cannot be taken out for a game immediately after the purchase. They need some time and prepping until they are ready for a match.
English willow is the top choice for making cricket bats. English Willow is the only kind of wood that can give the strength and compression essential for the cricket ball. That is why it is used to make professional cricket bats across the world.
There are five grades of English willow bats—1 to 5—with grade one being the highest quality and having the straightest grains. This willow, also known as white willow, originates in England. It also flaunts a higher grain density than Kashmir willow.
But why pick English willow over Kashmir willow?
Because although Kashmir willow bats are also well-known for their quality and durability, top batsmen worldwide generally prefer English willow bats because they are lighter, softer, and have better grain quality.
For this reason, most top batters and seasoned players around the world favour English willow bats. However, all the premium features add up to the escalated price. But it is a worthy investment if you want to go professional.
Naturally, it also requires good maintenance—similar to Kashmir willow bats’ maintenance. Firstly, you must knock in with an old ball. Then, to keep the bat’s surface sticky during a game, the surface has to be coated with raw linseed oil. It serves as a layer of defence for the wood and improves Batman's shooting control.
These are the four primary bats you should try to enhance your gaming experience. If you just started out, you can follow the same order to level up your game—softball bat, training bat, Kashmir willow bat, and English willow bat.
As you progress, you can move up, and it all adds up to your overall skill and experience. We hope you found this list helpful in finding your next bat.
For more information, you can check out Season Sports—the finest cricket store online—to take a peek at the wide range of bats available. You can also connect with us in the comments if you have any follow-up questions.
Have a great day!
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