Cricket Bat Buyers Guide

A cricket bat is probably the most expensive item in your cricket bag, so it makes sense to get the right one to start with. Read our guide to help you decide which one you want and how much to spend!

Type of Willow

There are two types of willow cricket bats are made of; English willow and kashmir willow. Put simply, buy an English willow bat as they outperform Kashmir willow cricket bats many many times over. A kashmir willow bat will be much cheaper, but it will perform terribly and you'll find yourself buying an English willow bat soon anyway so save your money and go straight for the English willow!

Bat size, adult and junior

If you are buying for an adult, your main decision is whether to buy a short handle (SH) or long handle (LH) bat. Short handle is what the majority of players will use, so unless you are very tall (over 6"6" for example), then get yourself a short handle bat.

Buying for a junior is a touch more difficult, as there are many size bats depending on the height of the child. It is very important to get the right size bat, so as tempting as it is to get something to 'grow into', get the right size bat or the child will struggle to use it properly. If you get a bat too big or heavy, then they will find it very hard to play correct shots and not score many runs.

Junior bat sizes range from size 3, moving up to size 6, then Harrow, then academy. See the guide below to make sure you get the right size.

Cricket Bat Size Guide

Size of Bat
Length of Bat
Typical Height
Typical Age
Size 0
26 inches
Up to 4ft
Under 5
Size 1
27 inches
4ft - 4ft 3in
4-5
Size 2
28 inches
4ft 3in – 4ft 6in
6-7
Size 3
29 inches
4ft 6in – 4ft 9in
8
Size 4
30 inches
4ft 9in – 4ft 11in
9-10
Size 5
31 inches
4ft 11in – 5ft 2in
10-12
Size 6
32 inches
5ft 2in – 5ft 4in
12-13
Harrow
33 inches
5ft 4in – 5ft 8in
13-15
Short Handle
33.5 inches
5ft 8in – 6ft 4in
15+
Long Handle
34.5 inches
6ft 4in and over
15+

 

How much to spend

You can spend as much as you want on a cricket bat from anything under £50 to over £300! Cricket bats are put into various 'categories' of graded willow, and generally speaking the more you spend, the better standard of willow you will get and the better bat you will therefore get.

You will probably have a price in your mind when looking at a new cricket bat, so it makes sense to stick to it. It is very easy to get seduced by the higher grade willow and spend more than you are comfortable with, but stick to your budget and you'll still be happy with the bat you get. Anything north of £200 and you will be getting the higher standard if willow, but £150-£200 will get you a very good bat that should last you a few years without breaking the bank, so we believe this is how much you should budget.

For junior bats, as difficult as it is to hear it again, the more you spend then the better standard of cricket bat you will get. Yes, you do need to bear in mind how long the bat will last (whilst the child grows), but buying a good bat is an investment in your child's game and well worth it.

Which bat to get

Now we get to the bit of bat buying where personal preferences come into the equation. Most cricket brands such as Adidas, Kookaburra, Gunn & Moore and many more will offer a selection of models which suit different types of player. There will be lighter bats, heavy bats, bats with a high or low 'middle' and anything in between.

You may want to choose your bat based on which international player uses or endorses it, this is something that junior's especially will be drawn to. So if you want to be like Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell or Stuart Broad you'll want an Adidas cricket bat, Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook use Gray-Nicolls, Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann use Gunn & Moore and Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior use Slazenger kit. These players normally have bats made specifically for them so although it is unlikely you'll be getting as good a bat as the pro's, you will feel like you are one of them!

If you've decided which brand, price point and size, the final things to decide are the model and weight. As we mentioned earlier, each brand will have a selection of models to suit your game, so if you are a 'slogger' then look for the bat with a big middle, if you are more of a stroke-player then an all-rounder which is at home striking the ball as placing it off the edge. Read the bat descriptions and look at the pictures to get an idea of the type of bat each is and whether or not it will suit you.

Finally, the weight of the bat. Cricket bats weight anywhere between 2lb 6oz and 3lb+. Again, if you are an all round stroke player you will probably want something on the lighter end of the scale and if you prefer to hit big, then a heavier bat (but not too heavy!) will probably suit you better. It is personal preference though, so decide what type of player you are and choose accordingly.

Once you've done all that, you've chosen your perfect cricket bat! It can sound complicated and long winded but choose a budget, model of bat and then see what is available price wise and you'll find it fairly easy.

Here are quick tips to buying a cricket bat:

  • Buy an English Willow cricket bat
  • Decide a budget for your cricket bat and stick to it
  • Get the right size bat (especially important for juniors)
  • Choose the model of bat which suits your game and a brand that you like
  • Choose the weight of the cricket bat which again suits your game