How To Make Sure Your Cricket Bat Uses Quality Wood

Cricket

The type and quality of wood a cricket bat is made from will massively impact the cost of the bat. Although the grade and material used won’t affect many beginners, as you progress and play more competitively, using a higher quality cricket bat can give you a significant edge when playing.

What is a Cricket Bat Made Of?

Cricket bats are typically made from wood, more specifically from the Willow tree. Lightweight yet durable and hard-wearing, Willow doesn’t splinter or fracture, making it the perfect material for making cricket bats. When you’re dealing with solid cricket balls bowled at high speeds, you need confidence that your bat will withstand high impact - and Willow provides just that.

There are two types of Willow used in cricket bat manufacturing; English Willow (grown in England) and Kashmir Willow, grown in North-West India. The Willow used is selected and then graded on the quality.

English Willow vs Kashmir Willow: What’s the Difference?

Whether your cricket bat is English or Kashmir Willow, the wood is manufactured using the same process.

The biggest difference between the English and Kashmir varieties is that Kashmir is typically harder, dryer, and more dense. The trees are the same, but growing in different climates affects the development, for example Kashmir Willow tends to be darker. English Willow is said to have more “ping” off the bat, helping to hit massive boundaries, however this would only really affect the world’s top players.

Willow Grade Differences in Cricket Bat Wood Quality

Both English Willow & Kashmir Willow wood is graded based on the quality of wood in the same way. A general rule of thumb is that a Kashmir bat should be one grade higher than the English equivalent to establish a similar performance, e.g. a Grade 2 Kashmir Willow would be roughly comparable to a Grade 3 English Willow.

Grade 1: The highest Willow quality. Grains in the wood are clean and straight. The wood itself is unbleached

Grade 2: Grain may be slightly irregular with minor blemishes, and made from unbleached Willow

Grade 3: Medium level quality of Willow. May be bleached to cover irregular grain or more prominent blemishes. Should be a minimum of 5 grains running down the blade of the bat which don’t have to be perfectly straight

Grade 4: Most likely to be stained or contain “butterfly” stains. Could be some minor specks or other aesthetic faults, however will still play well

The Grains On Your Cricket Bat

One of the elements that many feel can influence the Willow quality grade is the number of grains on the face blade of the bat, and the width of them. The fewer straight, wide grains there are, the better and more consistent the playing surface.

Grains on the face of the cricket bat give an indication of the age of the tree used to make it. Higher grade willow typically used to come from older trees, however as production is modernised, younger trees can reach peak performance while lasting longer.

Your cricket bat quality isn’t defined by the number of grains on it, and more grains does not make it better!

Picking the Best Cricket Bat Brands

All cricket bats are manufactured using the same process with Willow from either England or Kashmir. Any reputable brand will use the best quality materials and grading criteria to create and price cricket bats. At Greaves, we are delighted to stock some of the biggest cricket bat brands in the world, including Gunn & Moore, Kookaburra, and Gray-Nicolls.

Shop Cricket Bats at Greaves

At Greaves, we have a range of cricket bats available, whatever level you play at. Our team of cricket experts in-store can help you choose the best cricket bat for you, and help you find the right size for your height. Browse our cricket bat range in-store or online today.

Shop All Cricket Bats

Recent Posts