Choosing the right cricket bat
Cricket Bat Anatomy
Cricket is a technical sport with technical products, but what do all the terms mean? The following is an insight into the anataomy of a Kookaburra cricket bat and will hopefully assist when selecting your new product.
A — EDGE PROFILE
Kookaburra's big edge profile increases from the shoulders and maximises at the swell, generating supreme balance with an extended sweet spot that covers the entire width of the blade.
B — SPINE PROFILE
Kookaburra’s super spine profiles adopt traditional shaping characteristics and operate in unison with the edge profile of the bat. This creates a huge apex with unrivalled amounts of power and exceptional pick up.
C — SWEET SPOT
The position in the blade where performance is at its maximum. Kookaburra bats are designed to maximise the size of the sweet spot, allowing the middle of the bat to be spread further across the blade and ensuring that off centre strikes perform better.
D — SCALLOP
In the quest to maximise profile, using scallops either side of the spine allow the apex to be extended without dramatically increasing weight. Scallops also maximise edge profile and reduce rotation of the blade in off-centre hits, minimising power loss.
E — FACE PROFILE
The modern game revolves around the thickness of the blade. Kookaburra have developed two types of face profiles to suit these demands:
Flat Face — a level striking area that allows more mass to be retained in the back of the bat to, in turn, maximise power profile.
Rounded Face — a slightly rounded face favoured by more traditional players. Gives a familiar look but yields a less expanded profile.
F — BOW
The curvature of the bat from the tip of the handle to the end of the toe. Designed to enhance the position of the hands by placing them ahead of the ball – an essential for optimum stroke play.
Cricket Bat Size Guide
Below is our recommendation on the appropriate bat size based on player height.
This guide can be used for all Junior and Senior cricket bats.
|BAT SIZE||PLAYER HEIGHT (cm)||PLAYER HEIGHT (in)|
|Size 1||- 130||- 4'3"|
|Size 2||130 - 137||4'3" - 4'6"|
|Size 3||137 - 145||4'6" - 4'9"|
|Size 4||145 - 152||4'9" - 5'|
|Size 5||152 - 160||5' - 5'3"|
|Size 6||160 - 165||5'3" - 5'5"|
|Harrow||165 - 170||5'5" - 5'7"|
|Small Adult||170 - 175||5'7" - 5'9"|
|Short Handle||175 - 183||5'9" - 6'|
|Long Blade||183 +||6' +|
IMPORTANT BAT FACTS
- Many players look for a bat with a narrow grain structure as they feel that these bats will perform better. This can be the case however the bat will normally not last as long as one with wider grain.
- A bat with narrow grains has been made from an older tree which is naturally more brittle and although it is can ‘play’ better more quickly it will not last as long as a bat with fewer grains. When buying a bat, it is obviously entirely your choice as to what you want the bat to look like but you should be aware that narrow grained bats do break more quickly and that is not in any way a defect in the materials used or the workmanship and as such it is unlikely that these breakages will be covered by any warranty.
- Imperfections in the face of the bat are purely cosmetic and do not impact upon how the bat performs - they can often add strength to the bat and mean that they offer enhanced value for money.
- In the modern world, climate change can also be seen to have an impact on the willow that is grown. it is increasingly common for trees to grow more each year which results in the grain being wider; therefore, in the future narrow grained bats could well become a thing of the past.
WEIGHT & PICK UP
As part of our manufacturing process, our bat makers evaluate every cleft of wood in determining what model we should produce from it. You can be sure that the quality of the bat you buy from Kookaburra is the best you can get from that particular quality of willow.
The ‘holy grail’ of bats is one with a massive profile and a very light ‘dead weight’, but this is exceptionally hard to find.
There is much discussion about heavier bats and larger edge profiles, and how these will hit the ball further. At Kookaburra, we do not totally subscribe to this theory. Clearly, If you choose a lighter bat then you will most likely need to compromise slightly on the thickness of the overall profile. Rest assured, this is not always a problem. We all have different physiques and sizes and we strongly believe that to get the best performance out of a bat, the most essential element is to choose one that feels the right weight for you. This will help you to time the ball better and ultimately make more runs!
It is interesting when a player stipulates that they must have an exact bat weight. If a 2lb 9oz and a 2lb 10oz bat weight were placed in front of the player, it is unlikely that they would be able to tell the difference. We feel ‘pick up’ is more important than ‘dead weight’ as the pick up determines how the bat will feel in play. Nobody can tell you what the right pick up is for you, or the exact weight you should use – it is a question of what feels right for you.
SHAPE AND PROFILE
It is often claimed that bats are specifically designed for either front or back foot play. In reality, although a shape can be better suited to the type of wicket you normally play on, we all have to play off both the front and back foot. Therefore, it is best to choose the bat that just feels right for you.
All players differ slightly in the way they play and as such, are likely to hit the ball in slightly different areas of the bat. Whilst it is impossible to cater for every impact area, we recommed choosing a bat that has wood focused in your normal impact position. This will greatly improve the chance of the bat being a correct fit for you.
Bat Grade & Appearance
Kookaburra Cricket Bats are 100% handmade. The process where our bats are hand crafted recognises the uniqueness of every piece of willow and utilises the vast experience that we have in manufacture to give every bat its own bespoke treatment. By fine tuning the shaping and pressing, we ensure that the pick-up is unparalleled and performance is maximised.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM YOUR KOOKABURRA BAT
In the production of our Cricket Bats, Kookaburra use willow sourced in the UK from the World’s leading growers – in combination with their definitions & experience, the qualities of willow you can expect to receive are as follows.
JOS BUTTLER REPLICA GRADE
These bats are made from the same grade of willow used for Jos’ own bats and as such they are graded wholly on performance rather than appearance. If you are looking for a bat which has the potential to perform as well as those used by Jos, these are the ones for you.
These bats will be the best-looking blades in our range. In our production process, these bats have been identified as being those that will perform better than others of the same appearance. There will be at least 6 fairly straight grains visible on the face but there also may be some red wood on the edge. The playing area should be clean but there may be a small knots or specks in the edge or back of the bat.
The grain structure will be similar to the ‘Players’ with at least 6 fairly straight grains visible on the face but there also may be some red wood on the edge. The playing area should be clean but there may be small knots or specks in the edge or back of the bat..
Visually very similar to the ‘Pro’ but there will usually be more red wood visible & potentially the odd blemish or butterfly in the grain on the face of the blade; however, this will not impact on the performance of the bat.
These bats will have around 5 grains on the face with potentially more red wood than the 1.1. The grains will not necessarily be straight and there will be some specks or butterfly marks on the grains on the face of the bat; however, they represent excellent value for money and are ideally suited to the Club player.
There will be typically 4 grains with a greater proportion of red wood, more blemishes & marks on the face – again these bats offer excellent performance and represent good value.
The grain structure will be similar to the ‘Players’ with potentially 4 grains visible on the face; however, there will be more stain in the wood making these bats less attractive visually but again performance will not be impacted.
These bats have been selected during our production process for their performance, they will be more heavily stained than other bats but may still play as well as more expensive options
These bats have been selected during our production process on the basis of their performance, they will be more heavily stained than 5.1 Grade.
These bats have been selected during our production process on the basis of their performance, they will be more heavily stained than 6.1 Grade
These bats have been selected during our production process on the basis of their performance, they will be more heavily stained than 6.2 Grade.
GRADE 6.4 (PRO SHIELD FACE WITH NATURAL BACK)
These blades have significant staining AND cosmetic marks which make it impractical for them to be sold as a ‘natural’ bat; however, these marks have no impact on the performance of the bat, and as such it perfectly possible to get an excellent ‘driving’ bat from this grade. To cover these blemishes, we developed our ‘Pro Shield’ cover which is a Durable Lightweight Anti-scuff type material with the grain of a cricket bat sublimated on to the face. This allows Players who have limited budgets to own a bat that looks cosmetically attractive.
GRADE 6.5 (PRO SHIELD FACE WITH NATURAL BACK)
These bats are similar in quality to the 6.4 but have heavier blemishes to the back of the bat making them unattractive to sell with the natural back – by applying a coat of paint to the back it allows us to produce an excellent entry level bat giving players on a limited budget to enjoy the performance benefits of English Willow at a low price.