Cricket:How to Choose a Cricket Bat
Cricket is England’s national summer game. It is also played by more than a billion people in the erstwhile British Empire, now referred to as the Commonwealth. The game of cricket centres on a bat and a leather ball.
Choosing a cricket bat is very important for a player. These come in with a wide range of features. In case the player is a young boy who is going to play with a tennis or rubber ball, the requirement of a bat is very simple. It can be made of wood, but must be light weight for the young lad to be able to handle it.
Cricket with a leather ball will require a bat that does not chip when coming in contact with the ball. Choosing a bat is a personal decision depending on the type of play of the batsman. There is no wrong bat to choose. One important consideration is how the bat ’feels’ in the hand of the player.
The most important point in selecting a bat is to ensure that the handle reaches top of the player’s thigh. This is important as it will allow him to take guard with his feet evenly poised and weight properly distributed on them.
The next point concerns the weight of the bat. Generally bats weigh anything from 1 Ib 11 oz for junior bats to 3 Ib 4oz for full size bats. A player while selecting a bat will have to decide what weight suits his style of play. Hitting a ball with a 3 Ib bat is not an easy proposition. It is important to go to a sports show room which has a number of bats for a player to handle them and decide which bat is best suited for him. The great Vivian Richards used a heavy bat of over 3 lbs while the Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar used a lighter bat.
The next point concerns the type of wood used for the bat. There are two types available in the market, namely English willow and Kashmir willow from India. English willow bats are generally considered better and also cost more than Kashmir willow. A professional player will need an English willow bat and can cost a tidy sum. Most good bats are endorsed by famous players and can be costly. Bats made of Kashmir willow are good for club cricket and school cricket and are cheaper. English willow bats have 7 to 8 grains across the blade and that makes them more durable.
All bats will have to be seasoned with light linseed oil and knocking lightly with a leather ball. This compresses the grains. English willow bats of the highest quality need only about an hour to get ready while Kashmir willow bats will require much, more time. Lastly along with the budget a player must ensure the grip of the handle comes within grasp. In case required an extra rubber covering can be used.