While the cricket season has been severely upset by COVID and lockdowns, cricket fans around the civilized world are still training hard and preparing for their next test match or 20/20.
If you are a batsman, the one piece of kit that can make a big difference to your performance is, unsurprisingly, your bat. The right weight and shape for your batting style can transform your batting average.
But when you walk into the local sports store and see the wall lined with bats, who do you know which one to choose?
That is exactly the question that we are answering today. We have put together a complete buyers’ guide explaining all the most important things to consider when choosing your perfect cricket bat.
We have also recommended our top cricket bat manufacturing brands that you should consider if you are looking for a premium bat, plus a few brands that make decent cheap cricket bats.
Finally, we have recommended three great cricket bats that you can buy online today from Amazon.
Best Cricket Bat Brands
When it comes to cricket bats, there are a few go-to brands that you can always rely on to make a top-quality cricket bat. Any bat that they make will be good, and it is just about picking the design features that are right for you.
This Australian cricket company was created in 1890 and is famous for producing the cricket balls used One Day International and Test matches. But they also make a damn good bat.
They have a variety of different models, all handmade from the highest quality willow, that is naturally air-dried after being harvested.
Kookaburra bats stand out for having a huge profile but still being light, which makes them ideal for big hitters who plan to spend a lot of time in the crease. You’ll see them in the hands of the likes of Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrest.
GM Gunn and Moore
This English company was founded by the English Test batsman William Gunn and local businessman Thomas Moore in 1885, and has continued to dominate the cricket bat market ever since.
One thing that GM offers is range and choice. They use the latest technology as they design new bats, but they never forget their roots and the core principle that the bat should feel good in the batsman’s hands.
Many professional cricketers prefer to head to the crease with a GM, including Corey Anderson, and female wicketkeeper-batsman Sarah Taylor.
SS Sareen Sports Industries
This Indian cricket company launched their SS Sunridges bat in 1976, and since then have been exporting bats to all the major cricket-playing nations in the world including the UK, Australia South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
They make a range of English Willow and Kashmir Willow options, all of which tend to have good balance and lots of power for hitting big shots.
Sri Lankan cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara used these bats almost exclusively throughout his career.
This is another Australian company, founded by Kunal Sharma in 1998, and is believed to make some of the most balanced cricket bats that offer the best precision playing.
They partner with notable players to design bats that meet their specific needs, and adapt that technology to their products. Notably, they have worked with Michael Clark, Chris Gale, and the Indian batting master MS Dhoni.
Founded in 1919, this English company hand makes traditional style cricket bats that appeal to many players.
The company focuses on making premium bats for serious players, that also come with a premium price tag. This is known as their heritage line. But in recent years they have also developed a performance range that aims to make their superior bat technology available at a more affordable price.
Sanspareils Greenlands (SG)
This Indian cricket bat manufacturer was founded in the 1930s and makes traditional style bats with technological tweaks for superior stroke play.
Since 2008 Virender Sehwag has been the official brand ambassador of SG, which has only increased its popularity with young batsmen.
Cheap Cricket Bat Brands
While all the above brands are fantastic, you pay for quality. So if you are looking for something more affordable that will do the job for a less serious batsman, you can also check out cheap options from Adidas, New Balance, Nike, and Puma.
You won’t get the same expert craftsmenship, you you can expect it to do the job for family games down the park.
3 Best Cricket Bats to Buy Today
Kookaburra Kahuna 4.1 Cricket Bat
As we have already said, Kookaburra is one of the best-known cricket bat manufacturers in the world and offer a huge range of options for all different ages and playing styles.
But if we have to choose our favourite from their excellent selection, it is the Kahuna 4.1 bat, which is versatile and will suit most players.
Made from English Willow, it is relatively lightweight (ranging from 2lb 8oz to 2lb 10oz for a standard adult bat), while the mid to low bow blade at the back still allows you to make big power shots.
The sweet spot is at the mid-profile (215-235mm from the toe), which means that it can accommodate players that like to play off either the front or back foot.
There are ten different size options for adults and juniors, and you can choose between a long or short handle as you prefer.
You can check out Kookaburra’s full range of cricket gear here.
- English Willow
- Mid-profile sweet spot
- 2lb 8 oz to 2 lb 10 oz (adult)
- Mid to low bow blade
- 10 size options for adults and children
Gunn and Moore Diamond 606 Cricket Bat
Gunn and Moore is another top-quality cricket brand that makes some of the best bats on the market. They offer lots of options, but their Diamond bat series is our favourite.
The diamond bat design was developed with English all-rounder Ben Stokes to match his flexible and dynamic batting style. This also makes it a great bat for developing players who are experimenting with different stroke styles.
The blade of the bat is slightly shorter than the traditional blade at 540mm, but it still has a large sweet spot so you can strike with confidence. Shorter players may find that it makes this bat feel a bit more maneuverable.
This bat is also available in junior sizes, and these smaller bats are perfectly scaled versions of the adult design bat. The bat is also available in different wood grades if you need to seek out a budget option.
You can see Gunn and Moore’s full bat collection here.
- English willow
- Designed in partnership with English all-rounder Ben Stokes
- Short blade at 540mm
- Large sweet spot
- Junior cricket bat sizes also available
Newbery Invictus Performance Cricket Bat
Of all the amazing bats made by Newbery, the Invictus must be our favourite. It is a more traditional bat with a smaller back profile that is completely rounded, but it has a slightly bigger bow to make sure you can still make those big shots.
This is the kind of bat you want in your hand when you plan on spending hours in the crease making defensive shots and slowing building the run rate. It has an extra-wide sweet spot which lets you consistently push the ball away from the wicket, and not into the gloves of the wicketkeeper.
This bat may not appeal to newbies, as there are so many options to choose from that it can be daunting, but it can make a big difference to your game.
- English willow
- Premium bat
- 2lbs 8oz to 3lbs
- Completely rounded back with a slightly bigger bow
- Extra-wide sweet spot
Cricket Bat Buying Guide
Aside from how much you are willing to spend to get the perfect cricket bat, there are literally scores of different options to consider, which can make choosing the right bat feel overwhelming.
But, in our experience, aside from choosing a brand that you love and trust, the most important things to consider are finding a bat that is the right weight for your strength and the right shape for your batting style.
We’ll have an in-depth look at this, and a quick go through some of the many other factors to consider when choosing the perfect bat.
Probably the most important factor when it comes to finding the perfect cricket bat for you is weight, especially for growing players whose strength is changing rapidly.
You need something that isn’t too heavy or too light, but sits right in the Goldilocks zone.
The weight of the back is largely determined by the profile, which is the counterweight of wood at the back of the bat. Generally speaking, the larger the profile, the heavier the bat, and the easier it will be to make power shots.
There is no best weight, as this depends on your strength and your stroke style. But you will generally need to choose between three different weight categories, that will vary slightly depending on the other features of the bat. These are:
- Light: 2lb 6oz to 2lb 9oz
- Medium: 2lb 9oz to 2lb 11oz
- Heavy: 2lb 11oz to 3lb
While cricket bats may well all look the same to a novice, an experienced batsman knows that they came in a number of different shapes, with varying profiles, edges scallops, sweet spots, and so on. Which one is best for you depends on your batting style.
If you already have a favourite style bat, great. If not, it can be a bit of a case of trial and error to find the one that feels best in your hands and on the pitch.
However, there are things that you can consider to narrow down your selection.
Most bats are designed for “all types” of cricket, however, there are some bats that are tailored for specific styles, such as big hitters that are really designed for T20 matches. If you have a style of cricket that you prefer or play most, this can be the first step to narrow down your selection.
All bats have a “sweet spot” on the face which is the ideal spot to strike the ball. But where exactly that spot should be for you depends on how you like to hit. One of the main determining factors here is whether you prefer to play off the front of the back foot.
If you play off the front foot, you will want your sweet spot in the mid-to-low section of the bat. If you play off the back foot, then you’ll benefit from something higher up.
Another thing to consider is whether you prefer to play with a long or short handle. Generally, long-handle bats are designed for players more than six feet tall. Shorter players tend to struggle with control with these longer handles.
Type of Willow
One of the first things that you will notice about cricket bats is that they are either made from Kashmir Willow or English Willow.
English Willow is generally considered the best material for serious bats, but Kashmir is more affordable, and therefore is often used for junior or training bats that have a short lifespan.
Kashmir willow is from India and is heavier than English willow. The grain of the wood is also more embedded, which tends to make shots played off the bat less dynamic.
If you are looking at an English Willow bat, it will have a grade from 1-4. Grade 1 is considered the best, with a good straight grain and minimal discoloration, while higher grades have irregular patterns and some marking.
The grain of the bat represents the age of the wood used to make it, with each grain representing one growing season.
For a top-quality bat, you will want to choose something with between 6 and 12 grains. A 6-grain bat will be softer than a 10-12 grain bat.
If you are looking for a personal, high-performance bat, look for something between 7 to 10 grains.
Bear in mind that while bats that are 10 and above give better performance, they wear out quicker.
Bats with a 7 grain are generally considered great for team bats that are likely to receive a lot of mixed-use.
We have already mentioned the sweet spot in terms of choosing the right style of bat. His is the part of the face of the bat that gives the most ping and will ensure the ball travels faster off the bat.
The sweet spot tends to be on the lower half of the bat, but not the very bottom. You will want something lower if you play off the front foot and something higher if you play off the back leg. They can also range in width, which can make a difference to how accurately you need to target your shots.
The bow is the entire back of the back that runs from the base of the handle to the toe. The shape of this bow varies greatly, and gives the bat the reinforcement that it needs to be able to make big, powerful shots.
The main bulk of the bow can also sit higher or lower along the back of the bat. This makes a difference to the pickup. You are likely to want a lower bow on a bouncy wicket and a higher bow on a dry wicket.
This list of considerations is by no means exhaustive. There is also the type of grip, the shape of the toe, the curve of the spine, and much more. But if you focus on these elements, you are likely to find a bat that you like and improves your performance.
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Cricket is a highly technical sport, and the cricket bat is probably the most technical piece of equipment on the pitch, so finding the right bat is challenging (yes, we love sports tech). There are scores of factors to consider, and what is best is down to the individual batsman.
The best thing to do when looking for the perfect bat is to start with a reliable brand that you like, and then get something that is the right weight for your body and the right shape for your batting style.
After this, there are scores of additional features to choose between to find the perfect fit. But what works is down to personal preferences, which often means a lot of trial and error.
Last update on 2021-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API