HomeSportsCricketHow Cricket Bats Are Made? Step by Step Guide
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How Cricket Bats Are Made? Step by Step Guide

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Bats are specialized equipment used by batters in the sport of cricket. Typically consisting of a handle attached to a flat willow-wood blade, the cricket bat is put to various uses by the batsmen. It is primarily used to hit the cricket ball and score runs. It is also be used to avoid runout, by holding the bat and touching the ground with it.

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Though the bat has undergone several changes, be it about its material or size, the one thing that has remained unchanged throughout is the shape and the feel of the bat. Alterations to its size, and preparation methods, have in many ways affected modern-day bats. The length of the bat is usually restricted to not more than 38 inches (96.5 cm) and the width no more than 4.25 inches (10.8 cm).

Now let us take a look and understand the procedure of creating a cricket bat:

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Types of Cricket Bats

S.no Types of cricket bat
1. English Willow
2. Kashmiri Willow
3. Softball Cricket bats
4. Training cricket bats

The Tools Required To Make A Cricket Bat

Image Source- woodstockcricket.co.uk

To prepare a well-made cricket bat, a few tools will be required. These are as follows:

  • Draw Knife/Pod Shaver – The Pod Shaver is a traditional and staple tool required for producing a bat. British Steel is considered a good quality draw knife or pod shaver.
  • Shaping Plane – The shaping plane is yet another tool used to create a bat and give it its shape. It’s a wooden box plane, with a rounded base and blade. The tool is used to make concave-shaped backs of the bat, which are very popular in modern bats.
  • Smoothing Plane – As the name suggests, this tool is used for shaping the edges of the bat.
  • Glue Knife – The Glue knife is used for gluing and also repairing old and damaged bats.
  • Sanding Gloves – Hand sanding comes in the final stages of bat finishing. The sand particles, which are vital to the purpose of finishing the bat, may prove to be very hard and damaging to the skin. Hence, sanding gloves are used to give the bat the finishing touch.
  • Rubber Grip – A rubber grip is the last task in the procedure of preparing a bat. Once the bat is made, a rubber grip is put on the handle of the bat, which allows the batsmen to hold the bat more efficiently.

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Materials used in the preparation of a bat

bat
image source-Kashmir times

Three types of willows are used in the preparation of a cricket bat. They are as follows:

  • Kashmir Willow: This is the type of willow that is predominantly used in the making of cricket bats that are relatively more affordable. As the name suggests, it is found in the regions of Kashmir. Though the quality of the Kashmir willow is considered excellent, it is not up to par with English willow, as a result of which it is used by companies that produce relatively cheap and affordable cricket bats.
  • English Willow: This is considered the best type of willow, and is often preferred over Kashmir willow. These are found in the United Kingdom. Most of the prominent bat manufacturers use this willow to produce their bats and international players also prefer this willow.
  • White Willow/ Salix Alba: This type of willow is native to Western and Central Asia and Europe. The wood is comparatively lighter, tougher, and shock-resistant. As a result of these features, bats made from this willow can handle high-speed impacts.

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Steps involved in the preparation of a cricket bat

willow
image source-Hindustan Times

The main stages/phases involved in the process of manufacturing a bat are as follows:

Cutting or Machining Process

The entire process starts by cutting the willow and giving it a shape that is predetermined. The willow is given an approximate shape referred to as clefts. Before the perfect shape is given, the ends are dipped in wax and the wax is air-dried for about a year. These aforementioned clefts are then graded, depending on various categories, such as straightness and width. There are four levels to this grading. However, it should be kept in mind that the size of the bat should not be more than 38 inches and the width should not be more than 4.25 inches.

Pressing Process

The next process is the pressing process, which involves pressing the willow so that the fibers close in together. Compressing the bat helps give the bat its shape and also aids in making it a solid, tight, compact willow. This step is vital because this step determines the strength and durability of the bat.

Fitting the Handle

After pressing, the willow is then sliced at the top to create a space, and a handle is inserted at this space with the aid of adhesives. The handle must be placed properly to ensure that it doesn’t come out easily.

Shaping the Bat

The shaping of the bat is done with the aid of a draw knife. This is also of utmost importance because it gives the bat its appeal. Changes such as rounding the toe of the bat, and removing extra materials are some of the things that are accomplished in this step.

Finishing Operations

Once the bat is given its final shape and has been sanded down (making the bat smoother and giving it a beautiful finish), a beeswax compound is used to polish the bat. This helps keep the moisture out, thereby increasing the longevity of the bat. A rubber grip is put on the handle for the extra grip, a toe guard and finally, a brand sticker is applied on the face of the blade.

Variations in Cricket Bats

bat
image source-Indian express

Over the years, numerous variations have made their way onto the classic design of the willow. Be it the outrageous aluminum bat used by Dennis Lillee, which was later banned, or the much recent Mongoose bat, with its extra long handle, which gave batsmen more swing, speed, and maneuverability. 


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