Choosing a Bat
It can be very difficult for both beginners and more seasoned cricketers to buy the right bat. For those who know little about bat specifications and particular technologies, cricket sites are often filled with jargon that confuses more than it informs.
We hope to help you make the correct decision when purchasing a bat.
For the beginner, it may appear there is little difference between cricket bats except maybe their colour and manufacturer. But when purchasing a bat these two factors are possibly the least important. The following guide should assist you in making the correct choice.
It is incredibly important when choosing a cricket bat that you get the correct size for you. Playing with the wrong size bat can restrict your ability to play certain shots.
Bats are divided into 2 main sizes – Junior and Senior. The following chart gives an indication of the correct size to buy:
- Up to 4′ 3″ – size 1 bat
- Up to 4′ 6″ – size 2 bat
- Up to 4′ 9″ – size 3 bat
- Up to 4′ 11″ – size 4 bat
- Up to 5′ 2″ – size 5 bat
- Up to 5′ 6″ – size 6 bat
- Up to 5′ 9″ – size Harrow bat
- Up to 6′ 2″ – Full size SH bat
- Over 6′ 2″ – Full size LH bat
Senior Bats – Short handled bats are preferred by most senior batsmen across the game. However for the especially tall player a long handle bat may be necessary. This option features a longer handle on the bat to prevent the batsman from having to lean over too much at the crease and also extends their reach. Long handle bats have a standard blade but the handle is 3cm longer.
Junior Bats – Come in sizes ranging from 1 – 6 and Harrow.
When choosing a helmet it is vital that it fits well. It should fit snugly on the wearer’s head to prevent rocking which can reduce performance and prove dangerous if the ball is able to squeeze under the grille.
We recommend you measure the circumference of your head from your forehead and then decide from our size guide. However, there is no substitute for trying helmets on in-store.
- Under 54 cm – Mini
- 54cm – 56cm – Junior
- 56cm+ – Senior
Most helmets have adjustable head bands and chin straps built into them meaning you can alter the size to ensure a good fit, so don’t worry if your head size falls into the bottom of a particular range.
Rubber soles are ideal for astro turf, indoor nets or hard ground. These are a highly versatile option that can be used for matches and practice. Rubber soles provide good grip and the best value for money although we do not recommend that you bowl outdoors in them due to a lack of traction at the crease.
Full spike shoes are ideal for softer ground where more grip is needed from the spikes. Capable of performing well in all three disciplines these are the preferred choice of many all round club cricketers who want one pair of shoes to serve them well whilst batting, bowling and fielding. Provide good grip when bowling in a low cut ankle design. You can also replace the studs with rubber ones for hard ground.
What wood are Bats made from?
Where cricket bats vary most in quality is in the willow used to make them. Bats come in two types of willow, Kashmir and English.
Each of these have different playing characteristics (called grades) and it is important to understand their specifications in making an informed choice about a bat.
Kashmir Willow provides excellent value for money, being ideal for young cricketers and beginners. The wood is slightly heavier than English willow, meaning less wood can be used in the equivalent weight. Harder and dryer than English willow, Kashmir isn’t as durable, but has the advantage of needing less knocking in (the process whereby a bat is prepared for play). Generally Kashmir willow bats do not perform as well as their English willow counterparts.
English Willow is the best quality willow money can buy, being the choice of all professionals and good level club players. It has very good performance characteristics, especially in the top Grades, and will generally be lightweight and have great ‘ping’ and pick up. English willow comes in 4 grades (1-4).
Pads and Gloves
Batting pads are made in a variety of sizes including: Small Boys, Boys, Youths, Men’s and Oversize Men’s. When choosing a batting pad the main indicator of suitability is through the knee roll, the horizontal section of padding about 2/3 of the way up the pad. To gauge whether the pad fits you must ensure this part should be level with the knee.
Batting gloves are made in a variety of sizes including: Small Boys, Boys, Youths, Mens and Oversize Men’s. Different batsmen prefer different glove designs, giving rise to different styles of glove protection including sausage finger style which has rounded finger padding as opposed to the square block design which is arguably more flexible.
As gloves go up in specification they feature greater levels of protection but at lighter weights and with improved sweat absorption technologies to allow batting for longer periods. It is important when choosing gloves to consider if the user favours inner gloves whilst batting as this may make it necessary to go up a size from normal.