Cricket is a popular sport all around the world. From easy garden games to serious competitive games, there's something for everyone. The wood used to produce cricket bats, on the other hand, will virtually always be the same.
Did you realise there are over 60,000 different tree species? Although the bulk of cricket bats are made from a single species of wood: willow.
Throughout this essay, we will reveal all of the secrets of Willow's popularity in cricket, as well as other information.
A quick glance at the game and its development
Cricket was first observed in the mid-16th century in the south-east of England. The sport expanded swiftly alongside the British empire. Official international matches, however, did not begin until the late nineteenth century.
Willow is the wood used to produce cricket bats; Why Use Willow?
Willow is the greatest wood for making cricket bats for a number of reasons.
This tree has a relatively fast development rate as compared to many other trees, taking only about 15 years to harvest.
Because this wood is soft, incredibly durable, and resistant to splitting, it is an ideal choice for a cricket bat. With some test matches lasting more than five days, a long-lasting cricket bat is essential.
Although the other benefits described above make this sort of wood ideal for cricket, its weight has a significant impact. Willow is extremely light in comparison to other woods, making it simpler for batters to swing for six and dash back and forth to score a run.
However, there was one incident in which a wood that was not made of willow competed. Dennis Lillee used an aluminium bat in 1979. Unfortunately, after accusations of the bat hurting the ball, this only lasted four balls!
4.Where does it grow?
Can you guess which country has the monopoly on this sort of timber? Yes, you guessed it: the United Kingdom. It's not surprising given the sport's roots (no pun intended).
This profitable tree can also be found in India, notably in the Kashmir region. This species of willow, however, is considered to be denser and of worse quality due to environmental differences. As a result, bats produced from Kashmir willow are frequently regarded as inferior than their English counterparts.
If you're curious about the differences between English and Kashmir willow bats and want to try them out for yourself, this is a simple process. Kids bats are typically constructed of Kashmir willow, so compare hitting with an adult bat with a kid's bat and see the difference!
What materials are used to make the bat?
After nurturing the willow, it is cut down and fed through a machine, where the outline of the bat begins to form.
1.Creating Cricket Bats
The willow will then be resized and shaped by a machine used by the bat manufacturers. This step is critical for getting everything in order before pressing the willow.
This is where the wood is loaded into the pressing machine. This is mostly employed to compress the willow fibres, which gives the bat its strength and durability.
3.Shaping the Bat
During this stage, the bat will be carved and fashioned to look just like the cricket bats you're used to playing with. It is meticulously cut to ensure that it is not excessively heavy or lopsided on any side, and that it is exactly symmetrical.
4.The Final Touches
The bat manufacturer will then sand down the rough edges and bond the handle to make the batters' grip comfortable and easy to wield. After that, they'll polish the bat to make it shine, label it, and it'll be ready to leave!
I have a cricket bat. Is there anything I can do to preserve it in excellent condition?
To keep the bat in good shape, it's a good idea to get it 'knocked in' before bringing it out onto the cricket pitch. You'll need a bat mallet first. If you don't have a bat mallet on hand, stuffing an old cricket ball in a sock can suffice.
First, lightly strike the mallet against the face (the flat part of the bat), up and down, gradually increasing the force. When the mallet stops producing imprints on your bat, you should know you're done.
Begin with the edges after you've completed the face. It's best to hit the edges at an angle in order to get the identical spots where the ball might land. Don't start pounding the rear of the bat with the mallet; only use it on the regions where you'll hit the ball.
Other materials used
Local wood is occasionally used for bats outside of Britain, where players prefer a cheaper option when playing for leisure. Attempts have been made to manufacture bats from of compressed bamboo or cain, but they always fall short of the conventional willow. Why is this the case? It's just their weight. When you use an alternative, you just can't attain those smooth swings.
Regulations for Professionals
Several regulations have been put in place throughout the years to guarantee that willow remains the primary material for bats in cricket. Now, this is just relevant to the professional side of the game, so don't be concerned if you're just having fun!
The Marylebone Cricket Club recommended law one, sometimes known as law 6.4(b), to the International Cricket Council. It specifies that all bats must be constructed of wood. Aluminium, farewell!
What about the wickets?
When it comes to wickets, there is usually one clear winner: Ashwood. Fraxinus excelsior is another name for Ash. However, it is not only used for wickets; it is also utilised in a variety of sports, including tennis racquets and hockey sticks. This long-lasting, tough wood is even used to make construction instruments like sledgehammer handles.